Caleres Introduces New Sustainability Benchmark Across Its Footwear Brand Portfolio

Caleres is taking its sustainability efforts one step further with the launch of a new program.

On Thursday, the St. Louis-based footwear company introduced the “One Planet Standard,” a new designation it will give products that meet or exceed 51 percent of the criteria on its Sustainable Footwear Index.

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According to Caleres, the One Planet Standard considers the sustainability of a product across its entire lifecycle, including six key pillars: sample reduction, materials, packaging, supplier environmental social governance (ESG) initiatives, brand philanthropy, and end-of-life solutions. Each shoe is assessed and graded, start to finish, with sustainability measures that require more effort and investment receiving more points.

Shoes that meet the new sustainability designation will be identified on Caleres brand websites with a One Planet Standard icon to allow consumers to easily identify products with this achievement – something very important for the company as it aims to capture today’s highly focused consumer.

“We always seek to make the shopping experience easier, and this is yet another way we can help our consumers make informed decisions while at the same time deliver products they want,” Jennifer Olsen, chief marketing officer at Caleres, said in a statement.

As of now, Caleres said that approximately 75 percent of its owned products contain at least one “environmentally preferred” material, and nearly 20 percent meet the criteria to earn the One Planet Standard designation. The company’s goal is to continue developing and innovating to increase the number of products that meet this new standard.

Natelle Baddeley, the newly promoted chief design and product officer at Caleres, added that the company’s new One Planet Standard is part of its ongoing ESG efforts and is something the Caleres team is “very proud” to introduce. “We take very seriously our responsibility to create shoes that are not only beautiful, fashionable, and comfortable but also lighter on the planet,” Baddeley said. “Making conscious choices about how we design, the materials we use, and how we manufacture products is not just good for business – it’s the right thing to do.”

This new initiative comes months after Caleres revealed its latest ESG report. Released in April, the company reported that 75 percent of its owned products now use environmentally preferred materials (EPMs), putting it in striking distance of its goal of 100 percent by 2025.

Among its other accomplishments, Caleres reclaimed, recycled or refurbished 90,000 pairs of shoes in 2022, meeting its annual goal.

And it is more than three-quarters of the way from achieving its target of a 25 percent reduction in energy use in Caleres-owned retail stores and distribution centers.

In 2020, Caleres began developing a set of ESG targets to achieve by 2025, based on the results of its materiality assessment and the expectations of its stakeholders.

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