Graz, 24 May 2023. The Austrian shoe manufacturer legero united, umbrella company of the brands superfit, legero and Think! aims to be CO2-neutral by 2030. Legero united’s in-house eco-database has now been honoured with a renowned German Innovation Award. The prize was presented within the scope of an exclusive event at the Futurium in Berlin on 23 May.
Legero united has already played a pioneering role when it comes to sustainability in the shoe manufacturing industry for many years. The company focuses extensively on the sustainability of its collections as part of its strategy and consistently pursues this aspect further with a number of measures along the entire value creation chain. Legero united has created a carbon eco-database that is unique in the industry and a milestone towards becoming carbon-neutral. This database has now been honoured with a German Innovation Award in the category ”Excellence in Business to Business – Information Technologies”. The legero united eco-database shows the environmental performance at the product level of each of the more than 3,500 products it manufactures annually. The database makes it possible to calculate the carbon footprint of each individual shoe as early as the first draft of a new model, which can then be reduced in a targeted way with suitable measures without having to produce a shoe. The eco-database is based on the ingredients, material consumption and environmental aspects such as the carbon, water and resource consumption. Furthermore, the eco-database can measurably illustrate how the sustainability of the existing products can be improved. Each individual shoe design is therefore already optimised in ecological terms at the design stage. “We are currently digitising the entire design and sample production of our collections. Our designers can then compare all model variants in real time with innovative 3D technologies and manage and reduce the carbon footprint of each design according to clearly set targets. This 3D technology also helps us to use considerably fewer material and transport resources. This contributes to a systematic, predictable reduction of our carbon footprint and represents a significant step towards solving the climate crisis,” confirms Stefan Stolitzka, owner and CEO of legero united. In 2022, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology honoured the legero united eco-database with an award for best environmental and climate protection measure.
The Austrian shoe manufacturer combines its ambitious and trailblazing sustainability initiatives in the legero united sustainability agenda, or luna for short. One example is the company’s proprietary development platform for sustainable materials, VIOS, which was established back in 2013. With the VIOS Restricted Substance List, it defines far higher threshold value requirements than those demanded by the law or quality seals. Or participation in numerous industry and environmental initiatives. Above all, the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi), which the company committed to in 2021. The SBTi offers companies a sound scientific method for the definition of carbon targets that are in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Within the European Union’s Green Deal, it is considered the “gold standard” for companies. legero united also uses the industry-leading Higg Index, which shows the sustainability of products along the entire supply chain. The Austrian shoe manufacturer is also a member of the IVN (International Association of Natural Textiles), respACT (the Austrian platform for corporate responsibility and sustainable development) and also the cads initiative, an association of the largest shoe manufacturers in the German-speaking countries, in order to continuously develop ecological and social standards for the footwear industry. For the manufacture of its collections, the company preferably cooperates with leather suppliers that are Leather Working Group (LWG, which defines global standards for the leather industry and certified tanneries) Gold and Silver certified.
Legero united develops all of the designs for its brands superfit, legero and Think! in-house and manufactures the majority of these in its own production facilities, which are all EMAS or ISO 14001 certified. The company is therefore in control of the entire value creation chain – from design to manufacturing and marketing. “This in-depth value creation knowledge guarantees maximum transparency and assured quality,” confirms Stefan Stolitzka. Besides the awards it has won for its eco-database, legero united has recently achieved further remarkable successes in the area of sustainability: For example, in a survey, specialist retailers voted the brand Think! the leading brand in the sustainability category, and the Think! design “Hauki” was nominated for a Green Product Award. In addition, numerous designs from all three of the owner-managed family business’s brands have been awarded the renowned “Blue Angel” eco-label. “We are extremely delighted by all of this recognition. It encourages us to continue to consistently implement our initiatives in the area of sustainability,” says Stefan Stolitzka.