Monday September 18, 2017
Here’s a Must-Have List for Real Commitments from Fashion Companies:
- Big Reductions in Total Climate Pollution (not just less pollution per article of clothing they sell)
The fashion industry’s latest trend is to adopt climate commitments that, at best, are very partial solutions to its major role in the climate crisis. Some companies pledge to improve energy efficiency rather than committing to reduce climate pollution in absolute terms. Fewer emissions per pair of jeans is great, but the climate only stabilizes through total reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs).
- Big Reductions in the Whole Supply Chain (including dirty overseas factories that companies contract)
The bulk of fashion’s climate pollution (an estimated 60-90% on average) comes from material sourcing, garment production and transport . Yet, some companies’ climate commitments leave out this basic part of their pollution footprint. There are many tools and technologies available for companies to make major GHG reductions in these stages—even from independently-owned factories overseas.
- Commitments Beyond the Next 10 Years
Fashion fads come and go, but climate leadership requires a longer-term vision. Action over the next decade is critical, but stabilizing our climate requires major GHG reductions for decades. Industry leaders that are serious about addressing climate change need to adopt ambitious GHG targets into mid-century.
- A Commitment to “Go Renewable”
No climate outfit is complete without renewable energy! Leading companies such Apple and Mars are making a commitment now to move their entire supply chain to 100% renewable energy. Fashion companies can’t make it happen in time for next year’s fall line, but they can start today.
- Full Transparency
You can’t solve a problem and hide it at the same time. Only two fashion companies (H&M and Kering) are providing full transparency on GHGs in their entire supply chain—by comparison, nine computer tech companies are. Real climate action requires fashion companies to assess, track and disclose their full climate pollution footprint and reductions over time. Anything less is simply window dressing.
 As an example, H & M disclosures of GHG emissions through it full supply chain indicate that approximately 72% of emission are related up upstream activities--fabric production, manufacturing and transportation. https://www.cdp.net/sites/2016/03/7903/Climate%20Change%202016/Pages/Dis...