Scientific Base Target Initiative for Fashion Industry

By:Edmond Research and Development | 06/03/2023

Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly-defined path to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof business growth.

Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

SBTi has set specific guidance for different kind of industry, one of which is Apparel and Footwear . Here we present some brief highlights about the importance to set target and measure emission on Scope 3. For definition on Scope 1, 2 and 3 please refer to our previous articles.

The guidance supports companies across the apparel and footwear sector value chain to set
ambitious, science-based GHG emissions reduction targets (SBTs). The guidance refines existing
corporate guidance by clarifying which target setting methods are applicable for this sector,
including case studies on best practices in target setting and emissions reductions

Value chain (scope 3) emissions are significant for this sector, and companies face numerous barriers
to address them. The guidance identifies emissions hot spots for this sector and provides guidance
on measuring and reducing these emissions.

Companies must complete a scope 3 screening for all relevant scope 3 categories in order to determine their significance as per the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. If a company’s relevant scope 3 emissions are 40 percent or more of total scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, a scope 3 target is required. If a scope 3 target is required, companies must set one or more emission reduction targets and/or supplier or customer engagement targets that collectively cover at least two-thirds of total scope 3 emissions in conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. Emission reduction targets must cover a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 15 years from the date the company’s target is submitted to the SBTi for an official validation.

For many apparel and footwear companies, the purchased goods and services category represents a significant portion of scope 3 and overall emissions.

The apparel and footwear supply chain is geographically dispersed and dynamic. Generally speaking, companies have contractual relationships with suppliers one tier away. With this comes some influence and ability to gather data. Beyond the immediately adjacent tier, influence and visibility into data decline. Companies may have some primary data for select suppliers, but, in general, companies must rely on secondary data. That said, brands often dictate the material that suppliers (tiers 2 and 3) and finished goods manufacturers (tier 1) must use and thus can exert influence. In these cases, tier 1 manufacturers will have limited to no ability to reduce emissions further upstream.

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In calculating GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, a company is free to use the life-cycle database of its choosing and is not required to use supplier-specific data. To choose a life-cycle database, companies should consider the transparency, completeness, and applicability of the data.

Companies have a number of reduction options or levers at their disposal, for example: Reduce the amount of material in a given product, for example, fewer grams of cotton per t-shirt; Replace a material with a lower GHG alternative; Shift materials sourcing from higher carbon sources to lower ones.

Edmond’ Carbon footprint calculators allow fashion brands and their producers to punctually calculate the CO2e emissions in each stage of the supply chain, understanding the CO2e impact of each kind of raw materials, sourcing hub and transportations of all kind between each step or production and distribution.

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