2. EFFICIENT SHIPPING: green to pack

Transport plays a key part behind the clothing that arrives at our stores twice a week. Multiple factors are tied to this story, like the type of packaging or density of the shipments. This year we have continued working on these aspects in order to reduce energy consumption and the emissions generated by logistic operations.


As we optimize how we load our trucks, our land transport planning continues to improve. We strive for efficient loads in supplier trucks that serve distribution centres and in trucks that supply stores. In 2016, these actions allowed us to save a total of 1,140,000 km of transport and the associated emissions.

We have managed to fill the trucks that serve our distribution centres as efficiently as possible, with an average load of 58 cubic metres. This figure represents a year-on-year improvement of 16%, or 200 less truckloads per year. Likewise, we have increased the loads of trucks serving our logistics centres to an average of 65 cubic metres, eliminating 500 truckloads per year.

Additionally, we use these trucks as a reverse logistics channel to efficiently transport items returned to our stores. This has led to a 20% improvement in the volume of cargo in trucks with returns from Europe, with each truck transporting an average of 600 packages. In Europe alone, this reverse logistics channel has saved 900,000 km of transport and the associated emissions.

We also have indicators that allow us to measure the efficiency of our shipments. For example, we conduct a monthly review of the density of air shipments to Zara stores. This measure has allowed us to improve the density of those shipments by 1.5% compared to 2015.


Green to Pack is a programme based on the concept of the circular economy that sets standards for the quality of our packaging, allowing us to extend its useful life and recycle it once it has served its purpose.

For example, we changed our internal regulations to use plastic bags that are 10% thinner to transport our clothing. This has allowed us to send more dense shipments: since more articles fit in each box, less cardboard is needed overall.

We are also raising our standards for the quality of cardboard boxes so they can be reused more times and recycled more easily. Our boxes are reused up to five times, if their condition permit, before we recycle them. When they can no longer be reused, they are recycled and transformed into new cardboard. We also implement circular systems for reusing packaging like tubes, pallets, boxes, security tags and hangers. Whenever possible, we use recyclable materials. In 2016, we managed to reuse a total of 101.8 million hangers, as well as 1 billion security tags.

In addition to higher quality and reuse standards, the Green to Pack Programme also promotes the use of recycled materials in our packaging for online purchases. For example, all purchases from Zara’s online store are shipped in boxes made from recycled cardboard, 50% of which comes from our own boxes. In Spain, 100% of our boxes are made from cardboard recycled from our own boxes. In addition to the boxes, the plastic bags used for these orders or given to our customers in stores also contain a percentage of recycled plastic.