Stepping into a more sustainable business case with Dr. Martens

Dr Martens

How can a footwear company move to decarbonise its value chain?

Carbon-intensive material use and multi-national value chains involved in apparel and footwear manufacturing are just some of the reasons why the industry has a tremendous responsibility to decarbonise and innovate. This also creates an opportunity to respond to growing interest among consumers and investors, wanting to know what action brands are taking to reduce their climate impact. 

Dr. Martens, the iconic footwear brand, takes this responsibility seriously and recognised the opportunity. Next to assessing and reporting its climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the TCFD recommendations, the now public company sought to tackle its emissions where it matters most.

Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

A disclosure framework for businesses and financial institutions to report on their climate-related risks and opportunities. It’s a tool kit for companies to think long term and consider what climate change means for their business and value chain. TCFD-aligned reporting is already mandatory in the UK. More countries and regions are expected to follow on similar climate-related risk assessments, including the EU, Hong Kong and the US.


Integrating TCFD and Net Zero into Dr. Martens’ wider sustainability strategy

A company’s impact on the climate and the climate’s impact on a company are directly intertwined. As such, it is vital for businesses to take a holistic approach to climate action. In the case of Dr. Martens this meant understanding the company’s emission hotspots alongside its climate-related risks and opportunities. We conducted the following activities: 

value chain

Calculated Dr. Martens’ footprint and found 99% of its emissions lie within its value chain. It makes engagement with suppliers and other value chain partners even more important as Dr. Martens has no direct control over these emissions.

climate risks and impact

Identified Dr. Martens’ climate risks and impact. E.g., carbon pricing, production standards and buildings energy efficiency.

repair and resale model

Identified the commercial opportunities decarbonisation could bring. E.g., a repair and resale model emerged as a viable opportunity to meet changing customer demands. 


Provided feedback on Dr. Martens climate risk-related reporting in line with the TCFD framework.

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Established a carbon reduction pathway in line with Net Zero and advised Dr. Martens on how to translate this into its wider business strategy.

To reach Net Zero, the footwear brand needs to focus its efforts and resources on the areas in which it can have the most impact. A materiality analysis laid the foundations of Dr. Martens' Net Zero commitments. It identified the following environmental focus areas:

  1. Land, biodiversity and ecosystems impacts of raw material production
  2. Environmental impacts from supply chain manufacturing
  3. Circular economy (resource efficiency, durability, repair and end of life)
  4. Innovation in design and sustainable materials
  5. Chemicals management and product compliance
  6. Packaging materials and design
  7. Energy and climate 
  8. Waste management (reduction and recycling)



Bolstering the internal case for transformational climate action

By adopting this holistic approach, Dr. Martens can demonstrate the economic long-term benefits of integrating decarbonisation and climate risk mitigation into its wider business strategy. It bolsters the internal case for swift and transformative climate action, allowing Dr. Martens to:

value chain

Understand where to engage with suppliers and other value chain partners to decarbonise the company’s environmental impact.

emphasising benefits

Increase internal stakeholder buy-in by emphasising the benefits of addressing climate risks and capitalising on opportunities.

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Build trust among investors and consumers through increased transparency around climate risk exposure in line with the TCFD recommendations.

empower stakeholders

Empower stakeholders and set an example to the industry by setting a Net Zero commitment (awaiting validation from the Science Based Targets initiative).