Sustainable Apparel Coalition Releases Decarbonization Guide

Sustainable Apparel Coalition Releases Decarbonization Guide

The apparel and textile group, which counts SanMar, HanesBrands and Gildan among its members, has implemented a process for manufacturers to set and commit to science-based targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) wants to help reduce carbon emissions across the textile and apparel industry.

On Monday, March 6, the SAC – which includes Top 40 promotional products supplier SanMar (asi/84863), HanesBrands (asi/59528) and Gildan (asi/56842) among its members – released its Decarbonization Guide for Members. The guide is part of its Decarbonization Program, which launched last year to drive science-based targets (SBTs) adoption and emission reductions across the industry.

The guide provides a six-step process for organizations to set and commit to SBTs and develop action plans to deliver individual targets.

The textile industry is responsible for as much as 8% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the SAC notes that it must ramp up efforts across the industry to deliver the 45% reductions needed by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As part of the guidance provided, organizations will need to get internal buy-in to commit to and set SBTs and submit their targets for verification.

Once approved, member organizations will be required by the SAC to communicate their targets within six months of approval, develop an action plan, and start taking actions toward delivering carbon reductions. The SAC will require corporate members to set near-term emission reduction targets in line with the latest climate science within 24 months and obtain the appropriate validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) or a third-party accredited organization.

“Right now, the textile and apparel industry is not on track to hit net zero by 2050,” said Amina Razvi, CEO of the SAC. “We need urgent transformation and increased collaboration across the industry to tackle the worst impacts of climate change.”

Razvi added that the Decarbonization Guide is a major step in aligning industry goals to reduce GHG emissions.

The guide features resources to help organizations set and achieve their SBTs in each step and is part of the ongoing work between the SAC and its members, including webinars to share best practices and peer-to-peer learning sessions.

“We are enabling collaboration between brands and manufacturers to address one of the biggest challenges the industry faces: how to reach net zero,” said Joyce Tsoi, director of collective action programs at the SAC. “This guide is a critical marker on that journey and will empower member organizations to turn purpose into practice to deliver necessary impacts, starting from understanding and adopting targets in line with the best available science to developing action plans to take collective actions.”

SBTi, a global body enabling businesses to set ambitions emissions reductions in line with the latest climate science, lauded the SAC for its new guide. “When it comes to tackling the biggest problem the world has ever seen – climate change – we must draw on the power of collaboration, ambition and innovation,” said Luiz Amaral, CEO of SBTi. “This new guidance is proof that the fashion industry is up to the challenge. It also provides a blueprint for other sector trade bodies to follow.”

Promo suppliers that are SAC members have already begun taking comprehensive steps to reduce emissions. SanMar, for example, announced a plan last year in partnership with SBTi to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 50% per pound of product by 2030, with 2019 being the based year. The Issaquah, WA-headquartered apparel company also aims to cut Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services by 50% during the same timeframe.

HanesBrands has committed to reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2030, according to its sustainability site.

Gildan, in a standalone climate change disclosure report released in January, detailed plans to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 30% by 2030, compared to a 2018 baseline.

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