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Reducing Environmental Impact

Last Updated: 2017.05.30
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Fast Retailing's Impact on the Environment

Fast Retailing tries to reduce its impact on the environment at every stage of its vertically integrated business model, from planning, production and logistics to the sale of its clothing and the disposal of waste.

Product Planning

Fast Retailing places a high priority on environmentally responsible procurement and production processes and on safe materials. Fast Retailing also develops fabrics with enhanced features, such as thermal-insulating and quick-drying properties, that could potentially reduce impacts during wearing and washing.


Raw Materials
sources of cotton Sustainability department and Production department employees regularly visit the cotton fields of suppliers. In fiscal 2015, they visited suppliers of key raw materials such as cotton and down to verify workplace environments, use of agricultural chemicals and water, and treatment of waterfowl, among other conditions.

Fabric Production, Dyeing and Processing
The production of fabrics and materials accounts for a significant share of the entire supply chain's environmental impact due to the large quantities of water and chemicals used and industrial waste produced. To minimize impacts during this process Fast Retailing conduct monitoring at major fabric manufacturers based on our Code of Conduct for Production Partners that includes environmental criteria and follow-up activities to promote improvements.

Partner factories Environmental guidelines are a key category in the Fast Retailing Code of Conduct for Production Partners, and its partner factories carry out work environment monitoring that includes items for environmental protection. Fast Retailing and its partner factories share information on best practices and work together to develop and implement measures to conserve energy, such as streamlining production processes, optimizing cross ventilation, and upgrading electrical systems.

Energy-Efficient Distribution Methods

Rationalization of the Distribution Network
Logistics is a significant source of environmental stress, especially in the form of carbon emissions. Fast Retailing is working to streamline its global distribution network and to reduce impacts by adopting more efficient transport modes, streamlining deliveries from warehouses to stores, reusing and reducing the weight of packaging, and developing more efficient loading methods.

Reusable Cardboard Boxes

Lighter, Reusable Cardboard Boxes
Fast Retailing is reviewing the way it packages its products. Since 2006, it has been reducing the weight of the cardboard boxes it uses for deliveries by 15%. Fast Retailing is also looking for new ways to package its clothing to maximize the number of items per box.

The company has standardized cardboard box sizes to facilitate reuse. These efforts have enabled Fast Retailing to steadily reduce the number of boxes it uses every year. It is also implementing other steps, such as reducing the wrapping on factory shipments, to cut the consumption of resources.

Energy Efficient Office Operations

Integration of Servers
As Fast Retailing grows worldwide, it is integrating its server systems that cover every country of operation. The integration helps to accelerate new store launches outside Japan, while improving the Company's operating efficiency, cutting costs and reducing energy consumption. Having completed global integration of UNIQLO's national-level servers, Fast Retailing is accelerating the global integration of the other Fast Retailing Group brands' servers.

Reduction of paper use
Fast Retailing is accelerating the implementation of paperless environments through proactive introduction of tablets and other digital terminals, digitization of conference resources, and other measures.

Promotion of Cloud Computing
The proactive integration of Fast Retailing business servers into cloud systems is enabling us to upgrade our servers' performance and build services at a faster rate. The elimination of server procurement is resulting in lower costs and less electricity consumption.

Energy-Efficient Stores

Establishment of Environmental Impact Reduction Targets
Fast Retailing sets specific environmental impact reduction targets for the stores it operates. Fast Retailing first set a target for UNIQLO stores in Japan, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions per floor area 10% from fiscal 2013 by the end of fiscal 2020. Since fiscal 2015, Fast Retailing has been advancing these efforts across the entire Fast Retailing Group, beginning with GU stores in Japan and UNIQLO stores in China.

Store Energy and Resource-Efficiency Manuals
The Store Energy and Resource-Efficiency Manuals that Fast Retailing distributes to all UNIQLO and GU stores in Japan contain checklists to reduce energy consumption. The Company has made lower energy consumption a priority, particularly with store lighting and climate control systems, which account for approximately 60% and 40% of an average location's total energy use, respectively.

Climate Control Regulators
Fast Retailing worked with manufacturers of climate control systems to develop regulators that optimize temperature controls through automatic shut-off and other methods. These regulators are installed in all roadside UNIQLO stores in Japan.

LED Lights

Efficient Lighting and LED Lights
Stores set lighting levels during pre-opening hours to 40% of the levels during operating hours. Fast Retailing is also progressing with its plan to switch its lighting systems to energy-saving LEDs lights, and it has installed LED lights in the store signs for roadside UNIQLO stores in Japan as a first step. The project has been focusing on upgrading all indoor lighting for UNIQLO and GU stores. Since spring 2014 LED lighting has been installed in all new stores.

Efficient store design
Fast Retailing is exploring ways to improve the efficiency and reduce the amount of resources when constructing new stores, such as using modular units to increase the interchangeability of store installations and prefabricating portions of roadside stores and transporting them to the sites for easy assembly during construction.

Tokyo Carbon Reduction Reporting Program
In response to disclosure requirements under the Tokyo Carbon Reduction Reporting Program of Tokyo Metropolitan Environmental Bureau, Fast Retailing has published information on UNIQLO stores in Tokyo, including store-by-store CO2 emissions.

Recycle box

All-Product Recycling Initiative
The All-Product Recycling Initiative collects second-hand clothing at UNIQLO and GU stores in 16 countries and regions worldwide. About 90% of all collected clothing is donated to refugee camps and others in need, while the remaining 10% is converted into fuel.

Reduction of Waste
Cardboard boxes and plastic bags used to wrap products for shipment account for 99% of all waste material at stores. In Japan, 58% of UNIQLO stores work with a recycling company that collects store waste materials, recycles all reusable materials, and reports monthly recycling volumes. Fast Retailing is seeking to broaden the collection activities to stores that do not currently have collection programs, such as those located in commercial complexes.

The Environmental Impact of Fast Retailing's Business

The Environmental Impact of Fast Retailing's Business

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