Sustainability at Esquel
We become a true agent of change, providing quality employment, improving the livelihood of the communities in which we operate and achieving sustainable organizational development and minimizing the impact on the environment.
This has been the core value of Esquel's strategy from the start
The intersection between quality growth and sustainability has kept this vision at the forefront of our operations since Esquel’s inception in 1978. With our survivorship dependent on a stable environment and the thriving societies of coming generations, achieving sustainability is imperative to us - and it should be to every business aiming for a long-term future.
Making a Difference is about redefining our interactions with the world. We work towards that vision, mindful of the impact of the everyday choices we make. From environment-conscious initiatives in the workplace to the global partnerships we form, we keep in mind how our efforts would align with the visions.
Passed down the generations through our eCulture, its implementation has evolved to reflect the changing sciences and times. And now as international priorities shift in the same direction, we are aligning with the larger UNSDGs framework to build a more sustainable world.
Tackling Climate Change
In November 2021, Esquel announced the commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2050.
As a knowledge-based innovation company, we recognize the need to regulate our reliance on natural resources. Nations around the world have risen to address climate change through international agreements, from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement, which have been vital to emphasizing the enormity of the issue and the importance of working together to affect a real change. Enterprises have a major role to play in realizing such ambitious goals; we play our part by working in collaboration with partners to set greener industry-wide standards, and continually innovate more eco-friendly production processes to minimize our environmental impact. We are committed to achieving Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050. Click + to read more about our Net Zero Roadmap.
Tackling climate change is one of our two main goals under our vision of Making a Difference. By publishing our pledge and roadmap to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality by 2050, we are solidifying our full commitment to drive down emissions within our operations and beyond. Through our voluntary communication of our plans and progress to come, we hope to foster keen exchanges with partners who are working towards similar goals.
Esquel’s Net Zero pledge and roadmap represent commitment by the Group’s top leaders, and is overseen by our Sustainability Council, which is chaired by one of our non-executive board directors. It was first announced by Mr. Edgar Tung, our Chief Executive Officer, at Integral Conversation in November, 2021.
Since 2005, we have been monitoring and setting annual reduction targets against our unit energy consumption, which has come down drastically over the past years. Since 2010, years ahead of the signing of the Paris Agreement, Esquel has been measuring and monitoring GHG emissions at our Foshan Gaoming site: our flagship manufacturing base. We have expanded our emissions tracking to include the group’s other sites from 2018 onward. We measure our Group’s emissions covering all businesses we own and have operational control over.
Esquel has adopted the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (“GHG Protocol”) and ISO 14064 in our internal analyses for a standard rule of measure, enabling easier and more effective collaborations with others.
Esquel’s operations is highly vertically integrated, so the vast majority of Esquel’s GHG emissions are under Scope 1 and Scope 2.
A lot of actions are already underway in the Group. Our GHG emissions in Foshan Gaoming site have recorded a 28% drop since 2010. To hit our ambitious goal of Net Zero by 2050, however, we must take more proactive, holistic and innovative measures.
We have identified seven key action areas where our choices can Make a Difference as a world-class total solution provider for textile and apparel. Taking a holistic approach, we set our steps from looking within our operations to influencing our wider stakeholders.
Eliminating emissions takes priority over offsets. We remove emissions through efficiency gains, conscious consumptions and adoption of clean energy. To make progress beyond Scope 1 and Scope 2, we must work in concert with supply chain partners. We also aspire to extend our influence beyond our scope by driving changes in industry and communities.
The journey to Net Zero will not be a straightforward one for any organization with strong, established presence in industrial activities. According to World Resources Institute’s estimate in their report in November 2021, the apparel sector alone emitted over one gigatonne of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, roughly 2% of global total.
We must match our conviction with a roadmap that drives actions and evolves as technology advances. By engaging the full range of our key stakeholders, we make sure our progress towards Net Zero is shared and long-lasting.
We will be excited to share more progress with you as we move forward in this important journey.
Narrowing the Wealth Gap
Everything matters – from competitive compensation to wellness and empowerment.
Over 80% of our 35,000-strong workforce consists of frontline operators at our manufacturing sites. Such roles in the textiles and apparel industry are commonly seen to perpetuate a vicious cycle of poverty, by keeping low-skilled workers in low-paid jobs with no way to grow. Esquel works to change this reputation and make real changes to the local communities we operate in by providing equal job opportunities, decent wages and a platform for employees to gain further qualifications and skills for upward mobility. We create safe and inspirational workspaces that have a level playing field for all, as we continue to innovate employee welfare, development and training. Our host of philanthropic efforts aim to benefit local communities from the ground level up, across all regions we have sites in.
Laying the Foundation
Without the right structure and governance to bring it to life, a vision is just a wish.
At Esquel, our capacity to build change rests on these foundational features: our Sustainability Council, a vertically integrated setup, and staying private. These elements give us the structure and control to prioritize and implement our vision.
Four Pillars of Change
Preserving Planet. Empowering People. Refining Product. Transforming Communities.To put our vision into actions, we structure the management of our efforts into the following Four Pillars of Change. Each Pillar represents a way of how our operations are interdependence with sustainability, and must all be addressed as a holistic pursuit when we conduct our business.
At Esquel, we prioritize innovation that reduces environmental impact while enhancing product quality, and investment in the growth and well-being of our staff and surrounding communities. This is as exemplified by Integral. This is how we Make a Difference.
To read Esquel’s Sustainability Report 2021, please click here .
Click on each icon to view our actions taken on four pillars.
Our sustainability efforts under all four pillars have been awarded and recognized internationally, including but not limited to representative awards, certifications, case studies and interview invitations. Through extensively sharing our sustainability experiences and thoughts with the public, we bring more stakeholders together and build a broader sustainability community.
For the full list of Esquel’s awards and certifications, click here.
Award, Signatory, and CertificationMar 2021: Esquel is recognized as "Mental Health Friendly Supreme Organization"
Jan 2021: Esquel reinforces our commitment to uplift women by signing the Women's Empowerment Principles
Nov 2020: Esquel received prestigious awards at HKMA Awards for Excellence in Training and Development 2016
Case StudyMay 2021: Shared Value Initiative Hong Kong spotlighted Esquel's CSV Strategy
Jan 2021: Esquel's sustainable DET mask story was featured in a study by Asia Business Council and HKUST on innovation
Mar 2019: Esquel's UNSDGs achievements were featured by Reuters
Speech and SharingJun 2021: Our Chairperson Margorie Yang shared Esquel's Journey in sustainability in the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2021
Mar 2021: Our CEO Edgar Tung spoke online at Global Summit 2021 on Esquel's vision to carbon neutral
Sep 2020: Our Chairman & CEO Marjorie Yang and Managing Director Dee Poon discussed "Purpose, Values, and Philanthropy" at the Fireside Chat of HSBC Mind Matters Award Ceremony