In 2022 we updated our ESG ambitions leading up to 2030. Part of this exercise was defining our scope and priorities. Based on the impact of our business operations, the following areas are considered priorities:
- Offering lower-carbon gifts
- Improvement of ESG conditions in our supply chain
- Clear and transparent communication
Connecting our day-to-day activities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) fits with our ambitions to drive positive change.
We consider SDG 12 and SDG 13 as key to our business; it is here that we can make an impact on both environmental and social topics. All our major projects and activities will aim to make a positive contribution to these goals.
Supporting these key goals are SDG 8, SDG 9, and SDG 15. By engaging our employees, by investing in innovation, and by supporting the improvement of habitats around the world we strive to further increase our positive impact.
Our ambitions in detail
There are three key areas where we look to make positive change as a business: emissions, human rights, and transparency. We have set goals and targets leading up to 2030 to guide our activities for each of these, and more. Furthermore, these areas of change are also reflected in our strategic pillars:
- Make a long-term positive impact by offering lower-impact gifts.
- Lead by example in the supply chain. Act with integrity by improving ESG issues throughout our entire supply chain.
- Report on our progress in a clear and transparent way.
- By 2030, we will reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40% compared to baseline year 2022 in line with SBTi.
- By 2030 we will achieve a climate-neutral business operation.
- By 2050 we will achieve a net-zero business operation in line with SBTi.
We attach great importance to our ambition to lower our carbon emissions in our value chain. This involves our suppliers as well as our customers.
We will start close to home, looking to reduce emissions in our own operations (Scope 1 and 2, according to the GHG Protocol). For Scope 1 and 2 we aim to be in align with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), reducing our emissions by 40% compared to 2022.
How will we achieve these ambitions, you ask?
Change in our product portfolio is a big part of reaching our target. The product development process is where we can make the most positive change. For example, using recycled material has a lower negative impact than virgin materials, while production in Europe lowers the transportation phase footprint.
Our customers can play a significant role in the reduction of absolute emissions. By providing customers the CO2 footprints for all products – their life cycle assessment (LCA) – we give them the opportunity to contribute to lowering our (collective) CO2 footprint. Read all about our method here.
We have set the following targets to lower the impact of our products:
Target % of total products that are lower impact
Important to note is that targets for lower-impact products consider both products with lower CO2 emissions according to LCA and products using traceable recycled content and certified content where previously this was not the case. For example, conventional bamboo versus FSC-certified bamboo, or recycled material versus RCS-certified recycled material.
Since 2023, XD Connects has started using the amfori BEPI platform to conduct supplier environmental risk assessments. This strategic initiative provides comprehensive environmental insights from our suppliers, and provides a foundation to drive environmental improvements throughout our supply chain.
Human rights ambitions
- By 2025, 90% of all Tier 1 vendors have a social audit.
- By 2025, 100% of our Top 25% Tier 1 vendors have a social audit.
- By 2030, a grievance mechanism will be in place for the full supply chain
- By 2030, all Tier 1 workers in the supply chain are paid a living wage.
We engage with our direct suppliers (tier 1) on human rights issues through third-party social audits and product certifications. The amfori BSCI social audit framework is used by the majority of our suppliers and provides us with information about various performance areas including key human rights topics like working hours, worker representation, and no forced labour.
In our internal operations we ask critical questions around diversity and inclusion; secondary benefits; and handling of grievances at our company. We want to be a workplace of choice for our employees.
Currently, our customers can use the filter ‘from BSCI audited factory’ to isolate products produced in factories that have a valid social audit.
We are aware that our scope of influence is more limited the further down our supply chain we go. Our shorter-term goals are therefore focused on suppliers we engage with frequently and directly, tier 1. 2025 and beyond sees our targets expand beyond this tier.
Target % of Tier 1 vendors with valid social audit
- In 2023, issue the first annual XD Connects ESG report.
Being transparent about our efforts to make positive change and the progress we make is a pillar of sustainable development. Transparency enables accountability which drives change.
We commit to releasing an annual ESG report starting 2023. Here we will report on our activities, learnings, and achievements of the preceding calendar year. We’ll also look ahead at the year to come and our targets for that period.
2026 presents another milestone year when we will issue an integrated report covering non-financial and financial data over 2025 in accordance with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
We strongly encourage you, our stakeholders, to read our reports and engage with us about their content. Become part of our positive change!
In these blog posts we dive into more detail about the changes happening at XD Connects. Select the below posts to read the full article or visit the archive.
Deep dive: carbon offsetting
Businesses like XD Connects are taking responsibility for their negative impact on people and planet. By offsetting the carbon emissions (CO2) that we have not (yet) reduced, we compensate negative impact with investment in projects that have lasting positive impact on the environment and the people dependent on it.
Increasing number of products with traceability certification
XD Connects is now GRS, RCS, and FSC certified. But what impact does this have? Certifying the origin of recycled materials and materials sourced from forest products contributes to a more responsible global supply chain.
Aside from our efforts to reduce negative impact of our operations, we also want to engage our customers to shop consciously and, so, enable change. We provide our customers with opportunities to support selected environmental NGOs with their purchase. These organisations work tirelessly to bring about sustained, positive impact.
This non-profit organisation has various, long-term projects to plant trees in different locations across the globe.
Through our Sustainable Choice shipping program – a shipment service that avoids the use of next-day delivery airfreight – we save on CO2 emission. With this choice, customers agree to a shipping time of 3 to 5 working days.
XD Connects plants at least one tree per 10 orders done with Sustainable Choice shipping.
Water.org is a global non-profit organisation working to improve access to clean water and sanitation.
Water.org believes water is the best investment the world can make to improve health, empower women, enable access to education, and increase family income. Yet, 771 million people lack access to safe water.
We support Water.org by donating 2% of product proceeds of each gift sold with the AWARE tracer and our Avira collection.