VCI launches the third Apparel and Footwear Working Group for a Net Zero fashion industry

VCI launches the third Apparel and Footwear Working Group for a Net Zero fashion industry

Written by

Dino De Francesco

The apparel sector is a $1.5 trillion-dollar industry and expected to continue growing in the coming years. Meanwhile, apparel production is responsible for up to 8% of global carbon emissions, with raw materials constituting as much as two-thirds of an apparel company’s climate impact. If no further action is taken over the next decade beyond measures already in place, the industry’s GHG emissions are projected to be 1.266 Gt by 2030. This represents a huge challenge for Scope 3 emission reductions and removals in such a dynamic and fragmented value chain.

Meanwhile, the urgency to mitigate climate impact in the Apparel & Footwear sector is real. A 2023 report by Global Labor Institute and Schroders highlights the significant impacts of climate risks on apparel production, with floods and heatwaves worsening between 2030-2050.

Apparel and footwear companies are increasingly committing to reaching Net Zero through Science-Based targets to stay within the 1.5°C trajectory. The sector needs to accelerate its efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% by 2030. The imperative for action is further strengthened through impending regulations – such as the California Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act and EU regulations like Ecodesign for Sustainable Products and Green Claims – emphasising the need for private sector action to drive this transition towards Net Zero.

Against this backdrop, the Value Change Initiative (VCI) is launching its third Apparel & Footwear Working Group in March 2024 with leading companies like H&M Group, Primark, Inditex and Bestseller. The aim is to address sector specific challenges in Scope 3 emission accounting, reporting and claiming, ensuring the VCI Guidance supports the realities and complexities of Scope 3 emissions accounting of Category 1: Purchased Goods and Services.

Driving decarbonisation through collaborative innovation

The VCI Apparel & Footwear Working Group enables participants to discuss best practices around common challenges, helping accelerate and incentivise individual and collective action to decarbonise the sector.

The topics explored in the Working Group are collectively defined by the participants as part of a co-creation approach. Potential topics may include accounting for interventions with Regenerative Cotton across tiers; accounting and claiming reduction interventions in diverse raw materials; and accounting and claiming for interventions in Tier 1. As a final output, the Working Group will produce sector-specific documentation to extend the existing Value Change Guidance to effectively tackle Scope 3 emissions.

The Apparel & Footwear Working Group aims to:

  1. Build capacity for companies and partners on Scope 3 accounting and guidance in the apparel and footwear sector. It will build on the learnings from the previous Working Group, concluded in 2023, and the ongoing development of the landscape. 
  2. Collectively identify key Scope 3 accounting, reporting, and attribution challenges and priorities for the sector.
  3. Propose and validate innovative solutions to identified challenges, which will inform additional refinements or an addendum to the VCI Guidance to ensure it’s “fit for purpose” for the apparel sector.
  4. Share approaches on best practices and learnings related to Scope 3 in a pre-competitive space.
  5. Road-test the VCI Guidance and propose sector-specific adaptations, while identifying future areas of work for the sector and VCI.

What can you achieve by joining the Working Group?

Join the Working Group to drive impactful change and innovation in value chain emission practices. Here’s how you can leverage consensus-driven outcomes:

  1. Elevate your sustainability strategy: Gain insight from industry best practice to craft a more robust climate strategy in line with industry and external demands, driving tangible impact at scale.
  2. Optimise value chain operations: Dive deep into discussions on accounting, verification, reporting, and other critical challenges within your value chain. Collaborate to develop criteria for optimal implementation and best practices, ensuring maximum impact from your operations and interventions.
  3. Establish credible impact: Co-create solutions that are not only impactful but also credible, enabling you to confidently claim and demonstrate your organisation's commitment to sustainability. Unlock opportunities for co-investment and collaboration across your value chain, fostering a culture of shared responsibility and mutual benefit.
  4. Shape future standards and policy: Contribute to the ongoing evolution of standards by providing actionable recommendations based on real-life case studies.

Become a driving force for positive change in Scope 3. Together, we can achieve Net Zero Fashion.

Ready to reduce 45% of apparel and footwear emissions in the next 6 years?

Be a pioneer in the Scope 3 movement by joining leading companies in the Apparel & Footwear Working Group.