Scope 3 challenges in the textile sector

During New York Climate Week in 2023, we sat down with Lewis Perkins, President of Apparel Impact Institute, to better understand the main challenges the textile industry faces when accounting and reporting on Scope 3 reductions.

The textile industry is a shared supply chain – and that’s one of its biggest challenges

There are multiple factors contributing to the complexity of measuring and accounting for carbon emissions in the textile industry. One of the main ones is the shared nature of the supply chain – there is no one brand retailer that is 100% attached to the volume produced by a supplier. Consequently, there needs to be a mechanism that ensures that each brand retailer understands what its percentage of the carbon emission reductions is. This means the industry needs to define who gets credit and what it should be based on. 

Another challenge is ensuring data verification. The industry hasn’t yet agreed what tools, measurements and carbon accounting systems it wants to use for that. The Apparel Impact Institute supports the direction of the industry in advancing these questions.

Collective action is key to the sector’s success

Working together is the only way the textile industry will be able to incentivise suppliers to make the needed improvements – no company is big enough to tackle this alone. What is still missing is the sense of one unified direction of action across the industry. Getting to an operational roadmap across improvements and capital flows is going to take a very high degree of collaboration. 

The Value Change Initiative works to make Net Zero value chains possible by removing barriers to accounting for value chain or Scope 3 emission reductions. It brings together leading corporates, civil society actors, recognised standards and Scope 3 experts to solve the practical challenges and co-create guidance on the consensus generated. The VCI Guidance delivers a clear and consistent approach to Scope 3 mitigation actions, enabling companies to credibly account for value chain emission reductions, report impact up and down their value chains and accurately show progress towards their science-based targets.

Join the effort to make Net Zero value chains a reality

Help scale value chain action and test practical solutions by joining peer organisations and Scope 3 practitioners in one of the Value Change Initiative’s workstreams.