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C&A & sustainability


C&A
Reasonable, could be better Click here for score rapport: 17 out of 36

Sustainability summary

C&A has received our C-label for sustainability. According to our criteria, C&A is on its way towards sustainability, but more improvement is needed. C&A takes several policies measures to reduce the climate emissions of its own operations and in the supply chain. Around 25% of C&A's total collection is made of 'more sustainable' cotton. C&A has signed the Detox Commitment to eliminate hazardous chemical groups from its production and received the 'Evolution Mode' status from Greenpeace. C&A collaborates with several organisations, such as Ethical Trade Initiative, to improve the labor conditions in its supply chain. Thereby the company annually reports about the improvements and problems regarding the labour conditions at its suppliers. However, this reporting could be more detailed regarding specific audit findings as well as numbers and regions of workplaces covered.

Brand owner: C&A Mode GmbH & Co. KG 
Head office: Düsseldorf, Germany
Sector: Retailers
Categories : Male, Female, Kids, Baby
Free Tags: Here & There, Bags, Caps, Pullover, Shirts, Suits, Jackets, Jeans, Dress, Shoes, Boots

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C&A sustainability score report

Last edited: 2 September 2017 by Mario
Last reviewed: 2 September 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

3 out of 7
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? C&A implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as improving efficiency of operations and using renewable energy resources. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? C&A reduced its own operations climate footprint (scope 1 & 2) from 254,457 tons of CO2e in 2014 to 242,973 tons of CO2e in 2016. This is a reduction of 4,6%. Source
3. Is the efficiency of greenhouse gas emissions below 200 kg CO2-eq per square meter shopping floor per year? C&A reports an average carbon emissions efficiency level of 74,8 kg CO2 per m2 shopping floor for 2015. Source
4. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? In 2016, C&A purchased 30% of its global energy for retail operations from renewable sources. But, it is unclear whether these resources are proven to be additional. Also the overall share, sources and types of supply for its electricity are not specified. Source
5. Does 100% of the electricity that the brand (company) uses for its ‘own operations’ come from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 4. Source
6. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? C&A has set a target to reduce 20% of its own operations climate footprint by 2020, compared to base year 2012. Source
7. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations (Scope 3)? C&A aims to reduce CO2e emissions in its value chain, and specifies that 5,631,631 tons CO2e were emitted in 2016 – which is an increase of around 16% compared to 2015 however (4,842,726 tons CO2e). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

7 out of 15
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? C&A communicates that 33% of its entire collection, and 53% of its entire cotton use, was made of more sustainable cotton (organic, 'BCI' or 'REEL') in 2016. It is certain that the use of organic and BCI cotton exceeds the 10% of C&A's overall raw materials volume. Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the clothes and footwear? C&A has signed the Greenpeace 'Zero-Discharge Commitment'. Companies that signed this document promise to 'eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures that are associated with the making and using of company's products, by 2020'. Source
8. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? According to Greenpeace, C&A has successfully eliminated PFCs since January 2015 (see link, page 6). Source
9. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? C&A does not report whether at least 3 out of 11 suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or BFRs can be considered as fully phased-out in the global supply chain already. Source
10. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective policy to minimize environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes, e.g. by waste water treatment or by vegetable tanning? C&A reports a policy to limit the use of chromium III / VI, but does not provide clear information on the performance to avoid environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes. Source
11. Does the brand (company) have a clear target to phase out PVC in their products, and has the brand already achieved a PVC phase out level of more than 90%? According to C&A's Chemical Policy, the use of PVC is forbidden for all articles (see link, page 32). Source
12. Has the brand (company) a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production, and has the brand already achieved a level of average max. 40 grams of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoes? C&A reports on its limits for 'Volatile Organic Compounds' (VOC) in its Chemical Policy. However, C&A does not report whether an average of max. 30 grams of VOC emissions per pair of shoe is achieved (see link, page 33). Source
13. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? C&A communicates a consumer packaging reduction policy, but does not report the overall performance. Source
14. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? C&A implements several measures to minimize waste, such as recycling paper materials. C&A reports annual results for its European, Brazilian and Chinese sales markets, where available. Source
15. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? C&A offers a garment collection system in part of its stores. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

7 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? All standards are mentioned in C&A's 'Supplier Code of Conduct' (see link, page 3-5). Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? 1. Yes, legally binding employment relationships 2. 2. No, maximum working week is 48 hours and a maximum of 12 overtime, except under 'truly exceptional, unforeseeable circumstances', which can mean anything; 3. Yes, wage payments be sufficient to meet basic needs and provide some discretionary income for workers and their families (see link, page 6). Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? This right is mentioned, with reference to parallel means for the situation of law restrictions (see link, page 5). Source
4. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective health and safety policy for the workers in the finishing process of jeans, at least covering the ban on sandblasting? C&A has a zero tolerance list for their suppliers. Sandblasting is on this list. Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? C&A has published a list which most likely covers 90% of the C&A's total production. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? C&A is a 'full' member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? C&A is a 'full' member of ETI which means that Labour Unions and/or business-independent NGO’s have a formal and co-decisive voice within the initiative and are co-responsible for the integrity and credibility of the initiative. Source
8. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? In the past C&A reported on implemented measures to improve labour practices at its direct suppliers with regard to improved production processes in terms of productivity / quality, which in turn had positive effects on labour conditions. In it latest reporting respective, up to date information are not provided however. Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? Although C&A gives detailed reporting on the auditing of apparel manufacturers, it is unclear what percentage of the production volume this represents. Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? C&A does not publicly report on results of its policies to improve labour conditions at its suppliers, which are verified by eligible third parties. Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 10. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? C&A implements measures to promote living wage payments, such as collaboration with ACT to actively participate in the process of improving wages through industry collective bargaining in key production countries. However, concrete information on first living wage payments realised are not reported. Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? C&A tackles weak labour conditions further down the value chain, such as implementing measures to end 'Sumangali' schemes in Indian fabric mills. But, C&A does not yet report comprehensively on outcomes or results of its respective measures implemented at fabric suppliers. Source
14. Are at least 50% of the fabric manufacturing phases - from spinning to final fabric - approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? C&A does not specify overall results of its policies to improve labour conditions at its fabric suppliers, which are verified by eligible third parties. Source