Elk has released its third-annual Transparency Report, detailing the progress it made in its sustainability journey in 2020.
Across key sustainability pillars including energy, packaging, materials and social initiatives, Elk highlights three key progress achievements across each category.
Speaking on the report, Elk co-founders Marnie Goding and Adam Koniaras said that the business is proud of what it has achieved in 2020.
"We are engaged in and committed to continual change and improvement.
"Our goals and roadmap are clear and so much has already been achieved.
"Together with our team we will continue to push forward with positive change.
"Better products and a better business for a healthier planet," the duo said.
In 2020, Elk generated 71 MWh of clean, renewable solar power on-site and also successfully applied for a $20,000 grant under the Australian Government Energy Efficient Communities Program.
The business will use these funds to improve the energy efficiency of its warehouses.
Meanwhile, in the packaging pillar, 81% of all packaging and printed items was made from recycled materials, with 99% either recyclable or compostable in 2020.
The label also replaced its plastic garment bags with a certified, sustainably-forested paper bag, which is set to reduce its single-use plastics by up to 1,500kg annually.
In terms of materials used throughout 2020, Elk reports that its buy was made up of 39% preferred materials, up from 25% in 2019. 'Class A' preferred materials increased to 8% of its 2020 total, up from 2% the year prior.
Elk AW21 collection
Finally, in its social initiatives pillar, Elk donated $76,000 to a range of organisations and causes in 2020.
The business' community also helped it give back, raising over $28,000 for a range of bushfire relief initiatives, including $11,000 for the Kangaroo Island Glossy Black Cockatoo Recovery Program.
Elk sustainability manager Erika Martin added that after the year that was, the business was proud to have continued making progress on its mission.
"After a difficult year that saw severe drought, bushfires and floods across Australia as well as a global pandemic, we want to focus on the positive and are pleased to share our achievements over the past 12 months and progress against our 2025 sustainability goals.
"The greatest progress was made within our own operations.
"We have significantly reduced our electricity use by installing solar panels across our buildings and have met two of our 2025 packaging targets early.
"Our online business increased due to the pandemic lockdowns, and we are extremely proud that 81% of the packaging we used in 2020 was recycled, with 99% either recyclable or compostable.
"Whilst we want to celebrate our wins, we don’t want to overlook the challenges of the past 12 months, with the impacts evident in the numbers.
"Our retail stores were closed for six months, production volumes were around 50% less than the previous year, and most of us had to adjust to working remotely.
"This has slowed progress in some areas, but as our business is recovering from the COVID disruptions we are able to take stock and prioritise these projects again," she said.
The comprehensive Elk 2021 Transparency Report is available on its website.