The Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action | Sustainable Fashion Academy

The Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action

The apparel & textiles industry contributes significantly to global warming.

The planet is warming way too fast.

It’s time for action. It’s time for industry innovation. It’s time for Swedish leadership. 

 

 

Why is this initiative needed?

The global apparel and textiles industry produces a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) thereby contributing to global warming. The latest analyses estimate our contribution to be anywhere between 2% and 10% of global GHG emissions — and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation claims that if we continue with business-as-usual our industry could be responsible for 26% of the global carbon budget by 2050. In other words, our industry’s negative impact on the climate will continue to increase substantially.

A majority of our industry’s GHG emissions are generated within raw material production, supply chain processing and assembly, and in customer product care and end of life disposal. Because these impacts are outside the direct control of any single company, all actors, including brands and retailers, need to work together and engage with suppliers, governments, financial organizations and consumers if we are to make a difference.

Given the seriousness of the situation, our stakeholders are expecting us to do more than acknowledge the problem. They are expecting us to show concrete progress.

What does climate action look like for our industry? It involves setting science-based targets for GHG reductions. It means creating realistic, time-bound plans for reducing these GHG emissions and for reporting on our progress on a regular basis. It means working together to develop solutions that we can’t develop or implement on our own. It means finding ways of using the climate challenge as a driver for business innovation, thereby creating competitive advantages.

The United Nations recently launched the Climate Action in Fashion Initiative, where signatories have agreed to reduce their GHG emissions by at least 30% by 2030. Here in Sweden, our government has set a goal to be climate neutral by 2050. To help achieve these goals, leading Swedish actors operating in the apparel and textiles industry are launching this new initiative. Its aim is to support apparel and textiles organizations as well as the entire Swedish apparel and textile industry to reduce our climate impacts while strengthening our global competitiveness. Ultimately, we want to ensure Sweden does more than its share by becoming the first climate positive apparel and textiles industry in the world well before 2050. We believe this is the only way to ensure we will solve the climate crisis.

At Peak Performance we don’t just talk sustainability, we act on it. This network is all about climate action, real results and industry innovation. There is no time to delay. Join us and together we will amplify our impact while also ensuring our companies are prepared to succeed in this new business reality. Åsa Andersson, CR & Quality Manager, Peak Performance

Climate change remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Its consequences will affect our entire planet and everyone living on it. H&M have set the goal of becoming climate positive across our entire value chain by 2040. Our vision is to use our size and scale to lead the change towards a circular and renewable fashion industry, but no company or organization can tackle those challenges alone. Together with the industry, stakeholders and business partners we can make a sustainable difference!  Felicia Reuterswaerd, Head of Sustainability, H&M Sweden

 

 

To tackle the climate impact stemming from our value chain we need joint efforts and clear goals. We want to create support for the entire Swedish textile industry, both small and large enterprises, in taking climate action. Ultimately, we want to ensure Sweden does more than its share by becoming the first climate positive textile industry in the world well before 2050. Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability, KappAhl

 

Initiative Aims

The Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action will:

Support apparel and textile companies operating in both Swedish and international markets to set science-based targets and reduce their greenhouse gases in line with 1.5 C warming pathway, as outlined by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. We will also go further, ensuring we exceed this goal by becoming climate positive.

Provide a neutral, non-competitive platform for companies and organizations to learn best practices for reducing their GHG emissions as well as to track and publically report on their progress on a regular basis.

Support the development of joint projects and cross-sector collaborations in order to reduce the Swedish apparel and textile industry’s GHG emissions while stimulating climate solutions that can also be exported outside of Sweden, thus increasing the Swedish apparel and textile industry’s global competitiveness.

Develop a roadmap and implement an action plan for how the Swedish apparel and textile industry will reduce its GHG emissions beyond the 1.5 C warming target in order to become climate positive.

 

 

 

Join Our Action-Learning Network

To be able to publically commit to science-based GHG emissions reduction targets, report regularly on their progress, and take effective action, companies and organizations need to understand what it means both strategically and practically.

That is why during Phase 1, which will begin in 2019, we are launching an action-learning network for brands and retailers in a range of segments - everyday fashion, luxury, outdoor, sport, workwear - and other actors who purchase, sell or produce textiles, such as those supporting the public sector and municipalities. The purpose of this network is to help you, apparel and textile organizations, to:

Understand your climate impacts and measure your GHG emissions;

Develop science-based targets and plans for reducing your GHG emissions. Although we will decide what commitments participants should be required to make at the end of 2019, it is likely that participants will be asked to commit to at least 30% GHG reductions by 2030;

Develop a process and structure for reporting on and communicating your organization’s progress; and

Identify actions that create business benefits and develop collaborative projects aimed at reducing emissions in the parts of the value chain outside of your direct control.

2019 Program (Preliminary)

As a member of the network, during 2019 you will be invited to participate in a number of activities. Preliminarily, these activities include:

1. Workshops (4). Although the focus of each workshop will be finalized after input from network members, likely themes include:

  • Building your organization’s business case for GHG reductions.
  • Understanding the relevant method(s) for assessing your greenhouse gas emissions.  
  • Data collection and reporting on your company’s progress.
  • Developing a SMART plan, including targets, for reducing your company’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Communicating your company’s ambitions and progress to key stakeholders.

For organizations that need it - especially smaller companies - we will connect you to additional consulting support and tools to support data collection and management. Please contact us to find out more.

2. Self-organized working groups designed to help members share best practices and develop collaborative projects, such as consumer engagement campaigns, co-sourcing of climate-friendly transport options, co-engagement with mills and dye houses to support their transition to renewable energy, policy engagement, etc.

3. You will also receive the latest business intelligence related to existing solutions for greenhouse gas reductions in the apparel and textile industries. This will include suggestions on existing organizations and tools to work with that can help your organization practically implement your greenhouse gas reduction plans. 

4. Your organization will be invited to provide input into and participate in additional activities we offer related to building a climate impact roadmap for the Swedish apparel and textiles industry, such as CEO roundtables and policy forums.

 

 

Participation Requirements

We expect that companies and organizations participating in this network will want to learn all they can so they then are comfortable committing to reducing their greenhouse gases and reporting on their progress starting in 2020. That is why during 2019 a significant amount of time will be spent preparing for this.

Therefore, to participate during 2019, here are the requirements:

Company and organizational representatives participating during 2019 must be committed to learning and knowledge sharing. We will provide the knowledge and network needed to understand and organize your climate action work internally, so you feel prepared for making a commitment to reducing your greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2020. We will likely require a minimum commitment of 30% reductions to be achieved by 2030. However, this target will be reassessed and confirmed at the end of 2019, once we know where participants currently stand and what is possible. This means participating during 2019 is a low risk for organizations. Should you feel unready to make this commitment, you will not have to continue in the program. The goal, however, is that all participants commit to a science-based target starting in 2020.

Company and organizational representatives should strive to participate in all workshops and engage in working groups if and when relevant. This will ensure the network is robust and that learning is shared most effectively. We promise that we will have a lot of fun too! Of course, we know your time and capacity is often very limited, especially for smaller companies. We will adapt accordingly.

To cover the costs associated with the development and execution of the network, as well as to support the initiative overall, organizations are asked to invest a yearly fee of:

 

  • 20,000 SEK for organizations with a yearly turnover of less than 100 Million SEK
  • 35,000 SEK for organizations with a yearly turnover of more than 100 Million SEK

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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If you have questions we are here to help. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

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  • With the release of the most recent IPCC report, there is a global scientific consensus that human activity is causing global temperatures to rise at unprecedented rates and that if not mitigated, will continue to cause serious, perhaps irreparable damage.
  • The Paris agreement under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change brings together 197 countries under a common framework to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing a temperature increase to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels;
  • Turning the Paris Agreement into action requires commitment and ingenuity, and an approach that involves engagement from all stakeholders, including the apparel and textile sectors.
  • Sweden is a global leader in the area of sustainability and climate action and the Swedish apparel and textile stakeholders have a critical role to play in reducing greenhouse emissions.
  • Reducing our industry’s own current and future emissions will be insufficient to address the global challenge of climate change our ambition should be that our industry becomes climate positive, i.e. that the Swedish apparel industry not only reduces our own current and projected emissions, but also develops and implements solutions that reduce the emissions of the global apparel and textile industry as well.
  • Climate change poses a business risk for the apparel and textile industry. Companies need to assess how this risk is affecting them and develop plans for minimizing it.
  • Given the seriousness of the climate crisis, key stakeholders, such as legislators, customers, employees, investors and advocacy groups expect that all organizations increase their engagement by making significant commitments to reducing their climate impacts.
  • There are new standards for climate engagement in the industry. The United Nations Climate Action in Fashion initiative has developed a charter asking companies to agree to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. The Science-based Targets initiative requires companies to set science-based goals which are even more ambitious.
  • To be considered a responsible company and to avoid “Green-washing” key stakeholders expect organizations to commit to and report on progress in reducing greenhouse gases on a regular basis. Company sustainability rankings and sustainability reporting requirements are asking for this, public sector procurement processes are requesting this, and so are an increasing number of investors.
  • If managed properly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions will reduce costs and stimulate business innovation.
  • Because some of our work will be groundbreaking, it is necessary to work together to develop new tools and approaches to solve the climate crisis.
  • It is more cost effective to work together to develop a common standard and reporting mechanism than to do it alone. 

At the end of Phase 1 - December  2019 - participating organizations will be invited to make public commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, based upon an agreed upon standard. We will then support members to track, quantify and report on their progress, develop and execute action plans, and collaborate on joint projects. Should organizations not feel ready to make a public commitment, they do not have to do so. However, our ambition is that network members will make commitments. This will drive innovation and show leadership.

 

  • This is the only Swedish initiative focusing on 1) greenhouse gas reductions; 2) requiring that Swedish actors commit to concrete time-based reductions in greenhouse gases and public reporting of their progress starting in 2020; 3) developing a standard and reporting tool; 4) creating a platform for collaboration and Swedish leadership.
  • Three of Sweden’s leading brands and retailers – H&M, KappAhl and Peak Performance - are founding members of this initiative.
  • We will not duplicate efforts, but will work with existing platforms and organizations to help integrate greenhouse reductions and reporting. If you already work with organizations like BlueSign or report to organizations like SAC or CDP, this will count, as long as they involve showing concrete emissions reductions in line with a 30% reduction by 2030. During 2019 we will work with members to develop the correct approach so that efforts are not duplicated.
  • If your organization is already measuring your greenhouse gases and has a plan for reducing them and reporting on your progress, we invite you to share your work with this network. During Phase 2, this initiative will require that organizations commit to absolute GHG emission reductions by 2030.

 

Our current focus is greenhouse gas reductions, but if there is greater interest, we are open to expanding the scope of the program. What is crucial is that organizations set concrete goals, report on their progress and identify ways to collaborate to reduce their impacts - and strengthen their organizations. 

 

We encourage a wide range of organizations to participate. Here are a few examples: 

  1. Brands and retailers from a range of segments - everyday fashion, luxury, outdoor, sport, workwear - and other actors who purchase, sell or produce textiles, such as those supporting the public sector and municipalities can participate. You should either have your head offices in Sweden or are active on the Swedish market.
  2. Supporting organizations that can assist the development of the network and platform by mobilizing stakeholders, spreading knowledge and good practice, and participating in the development and scaling of joint projects. Supporting organizations include industry organizations, NGOs, research consortiums, government agencies and municipalities, other sustainability platforms, etc.
  3. Solution providers that can offer ways for brands and retailers and the industry overall to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become climate positive. The types of solution providers invited to participate will vary depending on priorities but can include banks, media companies, recycling companies, IT specialists, etc. Solution providers will be invited to participate once the platform is established.

 

 

SFA is a social enterprise, owned and operated by The Foundation for Design and Sustainable Enterprise (FDSE), based in Sweden. SFA has been supporting Swedish and international apparel companies and industry stakeholders for more than a decade. The SFA team has extensive experience in conducting analysis, advising apparel and textile companies and mobilizing key stakeholders. SFA is actively involved in the leading international sustainability and apparel initiatives including the World Resources Institute Market Maker’s Project, The Science-Based Targets Initiative and the United Nation’s Climate Action in Fashion initiative. SFA is also a  member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and participates in European Clothing Action Plan. SFA’s role will be to coordinate the network, develop the platform and ensure the independence and credibility of the initiative and the actions taken by it’s members. To find out more about SFA visit www.sustainablefashionacademy.org

 

In order to maintain credibility and ensure impact, all participants will be expected to show continuous improvement during a 10 year period. Initially, progress may be slow, but over time we expect this will accelerate. It is likely that the hardest improvements to make will be in what is called “Scope 3”. This is where we will need to work together to find ways to collect data and find solutions to address these impacts.

To track progress, organizations will be asked to submit progress reports at the end of every year. In cases where no progress has been made, a warning will be issued. If by the end of the following year, still no progress has been made, these organizations will not be invited to participate in the initiative going forward. The details of what constitutes progress will be realistic and further clarified at the start of the program. However, wherever possible, progress will be defined as being able to show actual greenhouse gas reductions. When this is not possible, proxy indicators will be used. The Sustainable Fashion Academy will be responsible for evaluating organizational progress.

The Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA) is a signatory of the UN Climate Action in Fashion charter. The charter’s signatories have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by 2030. Or, if you are a supporting organization like SFA, requires that we commit to helping industry actors to do so. The UN Charter also requires that signatories participate actively in working groups aimed at driving change in a range of areas, such as material choice, transport, policy development, etc. Organizations participating in the Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action (STICA) are welcome to sign the UN Charter. However, we created STICA to make it easier for Swedish organizations to contribute to the UN and Swedish goals, by offering national support on how to reduce greenhouse gases, create plans for making concrete progress and for collaborating. Therefore, some STICA participants may want to wait until they have come a bit farther before signing the UN Charter. It’s up to you. In terms of goals, we also hope that STICA members will choose to go further and faster than what is required for UN signatories, thereby inspiring the global apparel and textiles industry.

Initiative Founders

Founding Members

  • Boomerang
  • Ellos Group
  • Gina Tricot
  • H&M
  • KappAhl
  • Lindex
  • MQ
  • Peak Performance
  • Rudholm Group
  • Tiger Of Sweden