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Sustainable future in fashion

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

As a responsible corporate citizen the Group is committed to sustainable business practices and responsible environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

The Group supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 17 global objectives developed by the United Nations to be achieved by the year 2030.

The Sustainability Committee has aligned the Truworths sustainability programme with seven of the SDGs where the committee believes the business can have the most impact and play a role in contributing in some way towards the attainment of these goals.

This report highlights Truworths’ main initiatives undertaken in support of these SDGs. Further detail is included in the Social and Environmental Report 2020 on the website at www.truworthsinternational.com.

SDG

TRUWORTHS’ CONTRIBUTION

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Through merchandise donations to The Clothing Bank and Nutidex, Truworths is enabling unemployed South Africans, mainly women, to become financially and socially independent, and to eradicate poverty in their lives. Since the start of the relationships with The Clothing Bank and Nutidex over 430 000 garments have been donated for resale.

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

An area of ongoing support has been the development of hospitals and clinics. Over the last 10 years Truworths has invested just under R15 million renovating facilities in 10 hospitals around the country. Truworths recently funded the expansion of an eye clinic in Lenasia, Gauteng, South Africa, with an investment of R5.1 million. Through its long-standing partnership with The Reach For A Dream Foundation, the Group funded the building of the first Dream Room at the Queen Nandi Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Health has long been a focus of the Truworths corporate social investment (CSI) programme and has never been more relevant than during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, the Group donated R180 000 to support UNICEF’s programme to install water stations in schools without running water.

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Truworths invested R121 million on training and development for staff in 2020, with 98% of those trained being black employees. Education is a key focus of the Truworths CSI programme which invested in projects to improve educational infrastructure, including donating R1.1 million for new learning rooms for Afrika Tikkun in Orange Farm, Gauteng, South Africa. This new facility was dedicated to the late Dr Thandi Ndlovu, a non-executive director of Truworths International who tragically passed away in 2019. A further investment of R1.65 million has been committed to improve the Afrika Tikkun early childhood development centre in Diepsloot in Gauteng, South Africa.

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Empowering women is core to Truworths’ CSI and enterprise development strategy through projects including support for The Clothing Bank to assist unemployed women. The commitment to gender equality is also reflected within the company’s work force where 73% of employees are female. Truworths advocates against gender-based violence in all its forms and in the past year supported five organisations to aid in the fight against such violence in South Africa.

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

The Group is committed to responsible and cautious staffing strategies to remain a stable employer in all economic cycles, directly employing over 12 000 people across its operations and creating thousands more jobs indirectly.

As economic growth thrives on entrepreneurship, Truworths supports the Start-Up Hatchery which is a programme designed to enable promising entrepreneurs in the fashion industry to develop sustainable businesses.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

The Group promotes responsible consumption and opposes the dumping of unsold garments in landfill sites. The business partners with organisations that recycle or re-use damaged goods or convert fabrics into garments for resale. All suppliers are required to commit to good environmental practices. Materials associated with merchandise are recycled or re-used where possible, while the business continues to seek ways to limit packaging on merchandise. In the past year alone 160 tonnes of cardboard cartons and 11 tonnes of plastic were recycled, with over 5 million plastic clothing hangers re-used in stores.

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Measures have been implemented to decrease the carbon emissions associated with the transportation of merchandise across the international and local supply chain. In retail stores energy usage is being monitored, energy-saving lighting installed to reduce consumption, electricity reduction targets have been set and renewable energy is being used where possible.

FTSE4GOOD INDEX

Truworths International was again included in the FTSE4Good Index Series, the sustainable and responsible investment indices, which recognise companies with strong ESG practices measured against global standards.

Truworths received an ESG rating of 4.2 (maximum 5) in 2020 (2019: 4.2). This compared favourably to the industry average of 2.5.

FTSE4GOOD INDEX SERIES 2020 SCORECARD

Pillar/theme

Exposure

Truworths
International

Apparel retail
industry average

Country average:
South Africa

Environment

Medium

3.5

1.7

 

Climate change

Low

5.0

2.4

3.4

Environmental supply chain

High

3.0

1.5

2.4

Social

Medium

4.1

2.1

 

Human rights and community

Low

5.0

2.5

3.7

Labour standards

High

4.0

1.7

3.3

Social supply chain

High

4.0

2.4

2.5

Governance

Medium

5.0

3.7

 

Anti-corruption

Medium

5.0

3.1

3.9

Corporate governance

Medium

5.0

4.3

4.9

ESG rating score

4.2

2.5