Packaging & Logistics

More sustainable packaging and logistics design

HUGO BOSS is always looking for new ways to reduce CO2 emissions in the long term and conserve natural resources. In addition to more sustainably designed packaging made of certified and/or recycled material, logistics and transport processes are also important when it comes to improving our ecological footprint. They can be optimized by reorganizing transport routes or using new technology.

certified and/or recycled paper packaging
Our target by 2025: 100%
recycled or sustainably sourced plastic packaging
Our target by 2025: 100%

Our goal: reduce packaging and develop sustainable alternatives

How we select our packaging materials

At HUGO BOSS, packaging is used at various stages in the value chain and for different reasons. For example, we protect our goods in accordance with our premium standards, bundle units of orders and transport, present our goods in retail stores and hand them over to our customers in shopping bags or gift packaging. Our goal is always to save material, use sustainable raw materials or develop reusable solutions. In doing so, we rely on recycled plastics and FSC®-certified paper, for example. In order to meet our high standards we have developed a Packaging Guideline with material specifications and concrete targets which reflect our more sustainable approach to packaging.

HUGO BOSS Sustainable Packaging Guideline

How we protect our forests

In the context of environmental and climate protection, we are particularly committed to protecting the world's ancient forests and support ending deforestation when selecting paper and cardboard packaging materials and cellulosic fabrics. To this end, HUGO BOSS cooperates with the environmental organization Canopy. The aim is to source from selected suppliers, using Canopy’s tool as guidance, and sustainable solutions that meet our criteria when procuring packaging and cellulosic materials such as viscose. Accordingly, we have set ourselves various targets - including on packaging reduction and reuse and the use of recycled materials. They are all summarized in the Commitment to Protect Forests Through Our Paper, Packaging and Fabrics Choices, which was developed in collaboration with Canopy.

Commitment to Protect Forests Through Our Paper, Packaging and Fabrics Choices

Optimize packaging

Sales packaging

Examples of sales packaging include shopping bags and gift boxes. Here, HUGO BOSS uses FSC®-certified paper almost exclusively. We have also eliminated the use of plastic lamination, so the packaging can be recycled after use. Wherever possible, we use recycled material from households or offices, so-called post-consumer recycled material, for our shopping bags. Products such as suits are sold to our customers in reusable garment bags to protect the clothing. To minimize the sustainability impact here, recycled material is used almost exclusively for their production.

Product packaging

At HUGO BOSS all paper product packaging for bodywear, socks, shoe boxes (with a predominantly recycled content) is made of FSC®-certified paper. We are also testing a variety of more sustainable alternatives in additional product categories. For example, we are gradually switching our plastic packaging to materials with recycled content and have started a pilot project to package individual products in FSC®-certified paper bags instead of polybags. As a matter of principle, we always take care to reduce the amount of material used.

Transport packaging

The HUGO BOSS logistics centers pay close attention to the reuse of cardboard packaging. In 2022, 1,294 tons of cardboard boxes were reused for shipping from German distribution centers. 49% of the transport packaging used in the dispatching of goods was therefore reused. Newly procured cardboard packaging for shipment from our central distribution centers in Germany is FSC© certified. On average, the boxes consisted in the past year of 80 % recycled material. We also set requirements for the sustainability of cardboard packaging for our producers through clear specifications in our packaging regulations for transport. HUGO BOSS also optimizes the use of plastic. For example, almost 90 % of our protective garment covers are made from recycled materials. Our clothes hangers for transportation have a high percentage of recycled material and parts of them are returned to a hanger cycle for multiple use or are recycled.

On the way to more sustainable logistics

HUGO BOSS produces its products worldwide. To meet the complex sourcing requirements, our logistics processes involve all relevant modes of transport: road transport, sea freight, air freight, combined traffic (sea and air freight), and rail traffic. Wherever our delivery promises to our customers allow it, we always use the mode of transport with the smallest CO2 footprint. HUGO BOSS strives to capture optimization potential throughout the supply chain:

1. Production

HUGO BOSS enables its producers to use supply chain software that optimally plans the on-time delivery of freight shipments in order to use the most efficient transport mode. In addition, it suggests the optimal cardboard packaging and packing method in order to save packaging materials. This reduces CO2 emissions and minimizes the impact on the environment.

2. Shipping

HUGO BOSS is increasingly using environmentally friendlier transportation channels and minimizes environmental impact by doing so.

Together with our transport service providers, we optimize transports through efficient route planning and consolidation of shipments. Preference is always given to the most CO2-efficient means of transportation, such as the ship. We only use much higher-emission air freight for extremely time-critical customer needs. Combining sea and air freight is a potential compromise here: as can be seen in the example below, we start with the ship and can thus complete a large part of the route with the lower-emission means of transport. This is followed by the transfer to the airplane and the last distance is completed with the faster means of transport, thus saving time. The following graphic gives an overview of the average transit times as well as the CO2 emissions per transport mode using the example of a T-shirt from Hong Kong.

3. Handling

Goods consignments can often be consolidated to cut down on shipments. To optimize the utilization of shipping container capacity, for example, we often group many small shipments into larger units abroad. 

4. Distribution

Our goods are increasingly distributed via environmentally friendly transport routes. In addition, goods are increasingly transported directly to the markets without making a detour via the central distribution centers in Germany. This enables us to shorten transport routes enormously and reduce the environmental impact of transport. For the shipment of our goods, we rely on recycled and reused transport packaging to avoid waste. In addition, when procuring new cardboard packaging for goods shipped from Germany, we only use FSC®-certified cardboard packaging (FSC® N002527).

Targets in the field of packaging and logistics

  • 5% reduction of packaging paper by 2025

    By 2025, we will reduce our packaging paper per sold unit by 5 % compared to 2019. For example, HUGO BOSS is continuously reviewing how cardboard boxes can be used in the best possible way.

    Current status: Increase of 3%

  • 100 % certified and/or recycled paper packaging by 2025

    HUGO BOSS has set itself the goal of sourcing 100 % of its packaging paper – from labels to shipping cartons – from sustainably managed forests and/or in recycled form by 2025.

    Current status:  93%

  • 10 % reduction of single-use plastic by 2025

    We will reduce our single-use plastic used in packaging by 10% per sold unit compared to 2019. To achieve this goal, we are examining, for example, which shipments can be made without a garment cover or where the film size can be reduced.

    Current status: Reduction of 4%

  • 100 % more sustainable plastic packaging by 2025

    We have set ourselves the target of having 100% of our plastic packaging made of recycled or other sustainably sourced material by 2025.

    Current status:  48%

  • ≥50% reduction in CO2 emissions (Scope 3) by 2030

    We have set ourselves the goal of reducing Scope 3 emissions, which come from upstream transports (scope 3.4), by at least 50%  by 2030 (in comparison to 2019 ). These emissions account for over 90% of emissions across the company's value chain. For this reason, we strive to reduce our transport-related emissions, for example by continuously optimizing transport flows and working closely with our transport service providers, thereby limiting our impact on the environment.

    With our current target achievement levels, we are not yet at the level we would like to be, but we are striving for further improvements to achieve the set goal:

    Current status: -22% (compared to 2019)

Sustainable development in the field of plastic packaging

  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Target 2023
Total weight of all plastic packaging 1,297t 1,269t 1,192t 845t 1,002t 1,548t 1,804t 1,887t
Thereof single-use plastic packaging 820t 742t 668t 523t 660t 940t 1,012t 1,057t
Recycled content within all plastic packaging 5% 25% 32% 42% 47% 47% 48% 52%