In 2018, United Nations Climate Change (UNCC) drafted its Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (the Charter), which includes ambitious climate goals, such as net zero emissions within the fashion industry by 2050.
The Charter was drafted specifically for fashion industry stakeholders with initiatives and goals that will enable the fashion industry to take a leadership role in mitigating the worst impacts of climate change.
Beyond specific emission reduction targets, the Charter includes commitments aimed to inform and drive emissions reductions, such as alignment with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), partnering with the finance community and transitioning away from coal-fired heat and power generation. Since the release of the charter, stakeholders have further worked to outline key actions and practices that will guide signatories towards net zero by 2050.
The Charter also targets a 30 percent reduction in global scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 as a mid-point towards net zero emissions by 2050.
In September, the Charter’s decarbonization and GHG emissions reduction working group released its Climate Action Playbook (the Playbook), which outlines best practices and key strategies to meet the Charter’s carbon-related commitments. The Playbook is designed to help apparel sector brands, retailers, and suppliers identify and prioritize actionable steps toward ambitious climate action.
Topics covered in the Playbook include:
- Understanding and Calculating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
- Reporting and Assurance
- Target Setting
- Emissions Reductions
- Circular Economy
These topics are designed to enable organizations to reduce GHG emissions across their value chain. As evidenced in many apparel sector GHG inventories, most of the impact and subsequent opportunity is in the value chain (i.e., scope 3 emissions).
Within the sector’s value chain, emissions are concentrated in purchased goods and services, such as the impact associated with production of a brand’s products; and transportation and distribution, such as, the impact associated with shipment and storage of finished goods.