Led by World Resources Institute (WRI), the Science Based Targets initiative is developing guidance to support companies across across the apparel and footwear value chain to set ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. The guidance applies to retailers, brands, finished goods manufacturers, mills, etc. that are primarily engaged in activities that contribute to the production and sale of apparel and footwear products.

The guidance aims to:

  • Provide clarity on credible approaches to setting science-based targets for operations and value chains;
  • Increase consistency across companies’ targets in the sector;
  • Identify barriers for setting SBTs and provide recommendations to address these barriers;
  • Define and provide examples of best practices; and
  • Highlight opportunities for companies to collaborate in reducing emissions.  

Now Available: Second Draft of Apparel Guidance

A second version of the guidance was released for public comment in November 2018. A summary of key points of feedback was shared in February 2019. The WRI team is incorporating external stakeholder feedback into the current draft of the guidance. As the SBTi updates its target validation criteria annually (the next version is expected in April 2019), the team will ensure that revisions to the criteria are reflected in the guidance.

The team will also seek input from the Apparel and Footwear sector Expert Advisory Group on the final draft of the guidance. In parallel, the final draft will go through WRI’s internal review process. The tentative guidance publication date is June 2019.

Guidance Development Process and Timeline

The guidance development process is informed by an Expert Advisory Group with representation from companies, consultants, NGOs, academic institutions and other individuals with sectoral and/or GHG accounting expertise. We also convened a broader group of stakeholders to provide input at key milestones. Sign up to join the Stakeholder Advisory Group to receive updates on this work.

While the guidance is under development the Science Based Targets initiative encourages companies in the apparel sector to submit targets for validation if they are ready to do so. The guidance will offer an additional resource in future but should not delay target setting in the interim.

Here are some highlights from the guidance development process:

  • The project commenced with a scoping phase in June 2017In May 2018, WRI held an open stakeholder feedback session at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition conference in Vancouver and commissioned a public, online survey on the first version of the guidance. Download slides and view a recording of the webinar, and see a summary of public comments.
  • In September 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, WRI shared the guidance with stakeholders including apparel and footwear suppliers, local brand representatives, and individuals from industry associations.
  • After incorporating feedback from stakeholders, WRI released a second draft of the guidance for public comment through November 30, 2018.  
  • On November 28 in New York City, WRI presented an overview of key insights and recommendations from the guidance at the American Apparel and Footwear Association Environmental Committee Fall 2018 Meeting.
  • On February 19 in Hong Kong, WRI presented an update on the sector guidance at the American Chamber of Commerce.

Contact Us

To provide feedback on the guidance or develop a case study for your company, please contact us:

Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation, WRI, [email protected]

Nate Aden, Senior Fellow, WRI, [email protected]

Chendan Yan, Research Analyst, [email protected]  

Michael Sadowski, Research Consultant, [email protected]

Related News

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Podcast: Can the apparel sector mitigate climate change? – Ecotextile News – October 3, 2018

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Clothing Giant PVH Joins RE100 & Targets 100% Renewables By 2030 – Clean Technica – September 21, 2018

Clean denim: How Levi Strauss plans to reduce its carbon emissions – Business Standard – August 2, 2018

Levi Strauss Sets Industry Bar with Science-Based Targets for Global Supply Chain – Sustainable Brands – July 31, 2018

Inside Levi’s ambitious plan to cut its carbon footprint – Fast Company – July 31, 2018

Tesco and Target scale up supply chain sustainability – just-style – June 26, 2018

IKEA to use only renewable and recycled materials by 2030 – Reuters – June 7, 2018

Report Reveals Global Apparel and Footwear Industries’ Emissions – Environmental Leader – February 28, 2018

Inside VF’s new sustainability direction – GreenBiz – January 19, 2018

The growing momentum for science-based targets – GreenBiz – October 2, 2017

Gap Inc., NIKE, Inc., Levi’s Among Retailers Joining Initiative to Tackle Climate Change – Science Based Targets initiative – September 18, 2017