6 key areas across 9 Sustainable Development Goals.

Our established approach is to use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a benchmark to measure our performance across 6 key areas, from resource use to ethical business conduct.

  • 1. Water Use.

  • 2. Natural Resources.

  • 3. The Environment.

  • 4. Our Workers.

  • 5. Honest Communication.

  • 6. Ethical Business Conduct.

Droplet of water on leaf

SDG 12 & 13

Water Use.

Our Goal.

That our water use for the cultivation and production of our plant-based materials and products is environmentally responsible.

Our Achievements.

● We use some of the world’s most highly renewable crops (flax, kenaf, ramie, cork, coconut husk) for the canvas, lining, and insole materials of our shoes. These require next to no irrigation as they grow efficiently from just rainwater alone.

● We engage with ILO training programs to help our smaller suppliers identify where they can improve water use and wastewater practices in production methods. 

Agave Sisal for plant-based shoes

SDG 8, 14 & 15

Natural Resources.

Our Goal.

That the natural resources used to make our materials and products are efficiently managed through sustainable cultivation and production methods. 

Our Achievements.

● We use some of the most renewable plant-based materials, most of which have not previously been used in the footwear industry. By choosing flax, kenaf (hemp), and ramie (nettle) for our canvas upper; cork, coir, and natural latex for our insole, we are using some of the most regenerative and renewable plant-based materials in the world. 

● Most of our materials are third-party eco-certified which means we know that they have been sustainably harvested and ethically produced with strong natural resource management practices. 

Sunset in New Zealand

SDG 12, 14 & 15

The Environment.

Our Goal.

To mitigate polluting processes and eliminate traces of polluting elements in our materials through sustainable material and supplier selection.

Our Achievements.

● Orba shoes are made from over 93% plant-based materials.

● We have eliminated all toxic chemicals from our materials and processes.

● We have eliminated petroleum-based rubber by creating a bespoke bio-sole made from natural rubber and plant-based ingredients.

● All Orba packaging is biodegradable and recyclable without chemical-based inks.

● The Orba sole is currently being tested for rates of biodegradability in suitable microbial environments.

● Orba takes responsibility for the end-of-life of its products by asking customers to return them at Orba’s cost and ensuring they are placed in the proper environment to biodegrade.

hand-weaving flax canvas for plant-based shoes

SDG 1, 3, 8 & 11

Our Workers.

Our Goal.

That every worker that helps to make and sell Orba products is paid a fair living wage, is subject to fair employment terms, and is not subject to discrimination.

Our Achievements.

● Our assembly factory follows the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) which is based on best practice ILO guidelines. 

● Most of our suppliers are third-party eco-certified with accountability and transparency for their entire supply chain, meeting ethical standards of practice. 

●All direct employees of and contractors to Orba are paid a living wage.

2 hands symbolising honest communication

SDG 12

Honest Communication.

Our Goal.

That all of Orba’s communication and messaging with all stakeholders, from investors to customers, is honest, ethical, and responsible.

Our Achievements.

● Orba practices strong sustainability and ethical conduct thorough research to substantiate all our environmental and sustainability claims.   

● Through transparency for and with all stakeholders, we can identify potential weaknesses and address them, building trust in both our practices and our overall brand.

Orba undertaking SCORE training with weavers

SDG 16

Ethical Business Conduct.

Our Goal.

For Orba to conduct an ethical business to support efforts to reduce corruption in all forms and to develop accountability at all levels.   

Our Achievements.

● In December 2021 Orba became a certified B Corporation, confirming that we are a business that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

● We have created a Business Code of Ethics and Conduct, a Sustainability Framework, a Sustainable Procurement Strategy, and a Sustainability Plan that establishes benchmarks that we can use to measure and identify high-risk areas to address them.

  • Orba Sustainability Plan 2023

    Sustainability Plan.

    This plan augments the Orba Sustainability Framework. These documents outline how we approach sustainability within our business structure, with our products, and how they are made.

    View Document 
  • Orba Sustainability Framework 2022

    Sustainability Framework.

    The Sustainability Framework details our overall vision and business governance structure, product materials selection criteria, preferred third-party eco-certifications and scientific testing for biodegradability and compostability.

    View Document 
  • Orba Code of Business Ethics & Conduct cover

    Code of Business Ethics & Conduct.

    This document outlines Orba’s company vision, values, mission and a code of ethics for management and employees.

    View Document