Forty-three fashion leaders representing fashion brands, retailers, supplier organizations, a major shipping company and others launched the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action’.
The Charter aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and presents a vision for the industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 as well as an initial target to reduce their aggregate GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
10 December 2018: At the Katowice Climate Change Conference, the global fashion sector launched an industry charter that aims to address the fashion sector’s climate impact across its entire value chain. The charter recognizes the fashion industry’s role as both a contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and as a sector with opportunities to reduce GHG emissions while contributing to sustainable development.
Forty-three fashion leaders representing fashion brands, retailers, supplier organizations, a major shipping company and others committed to addressing climate change through the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action,’ which complements and supports other fashion industry initiatives aimed at increasing climate action. The Charter aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and presents a vision for the industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. In addition, the Charter sets an initial target for the industry to reduce their aggregate GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030, including through phasing out coal-fired boilers or other sources of coal-fired heat and power generation in their companies and direct suppliers beginning in 2025.
In the Charter, CEOs and presidents of fashion organizations commit to support the goals of the Paris Agreement in limiting the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and increase their collaboration within and beyond the fashion sectors towards a cleaner, low-carbon future. The Charter commits signatories to analyze and set a decarbonization pathway for the fashion industry, building on methodologies from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and by developing a work programme and tools necessary to achieve the GHG emission reduction targets. Signatories further commit to, inter alia: quantify, track and publicly report on GHG emissions; prioritize materials with low-climate impact without negatively affecting other sustainability aspects; and pursue energy efficiency measures and renewable energy in fashion value chains. Signatories also commit to: support a global transition to low-carbon transport by giving preference to low-carbon logistics; support the movement towards circular business models; and establish a closer dialogue with consumers to increase awareness about the GHG emissions caused in use and end-of-life phases of products, to build towards changed consumer behaviors that reduce environmental impacts and extend the useful life of products.
The Charter will help unite the fashion industry in climate work.
The Charter developed out of efforts by fashion leaders to shape a climate movement, which was chaired by PUMA SE and H&M Group. PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden said shared supply chains generate over 90 percent of PUMA’s carbon footprint. He stressed that if PUMA wants to reduce carbon emissions in its supply chain, the company must “work together with our industry peers.” He welcomed the Charter’s collective industry effort to support the goals of the Paris Agreement, and called on other industry peers to join the initiative. H&M Group CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, said the Charter will help unite the fashion industry in climate work, emphasizing that “only together” can the industry “create the change that is urgently needed.” He said H&M supports the Charter as part of the Group’s “ambition to become climate positive in our value chain.”
UNFCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa observed that the fashion industry “is always two steps ahead when it comes to defining world culture” and is now also “leading the way in terms of climate action.” She welcomed the Charter, expressing hope that it will set an example for others to follow.
To ensure concrete progress on the Charter’s commitments, the Charter establishes seven working groups in which signatories will work to define next steps for implementation. The working groups are: decarbonization pathway and GHG emission reductions; raw material; manufacturing/energy; logistics; policy engagement; leveraging existing tools and initiatives; and promoting broader climate action. The UNFCCC is expected to convene the working groups in early 2019, and will play a role in tracking industry progress towards the Charter. The Charter is open for other companies and organizations to join.
The Katowice Climate Change Conference convened in Poland from 2-14 December 2018. [UNFCCC Press Release] [Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action] [IISD RS Coverage of the Katowice Climate Change Conference] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on SBTi DescribingTrends on Decarbonization]