As a signatory of the UN Fashion Charter, Ralph Lauren is moving to reduce GHG emissions all along the supply chain by committing to phasing out coal fired boilers and providing its major suppliers with financial incentives for energy efficiency measures. It is also actively advocating for access to renewable energy transition in key manufacturing countries, such as the Philippines. While Ralph Lauren included shipping emissions in its GHG reduction targets and reported limiting air freight, it reported an increase in upstream transportation and distribution emissions by 41% from 2019 to 2021. To reach its climate goals, Ralph Lauren should chart short-term plans to ship cargo on cleaner vessels and transition to zero emission vessels. The company should also set stronger emissions reduction targets and engage with its suppliers to source renewable energy in manufacturing.
Key Findings for Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren has set a goal of 30% absolute reduction across Scopes 1,2 and 3 by 2030 against a 2020 base year. This is not in line with keeping warming below 1.5°C.
Ralph Lauren has set a renewable energy target in its own operations of 100% by 2025, but it is not clear whether it is additional to the grid.
Ralph Lauren has yet to set a target of 100% renewable energy for its supply chain by 2030, which is an essential step for decarbonising its manufacturing.
Coal phase out:
As a signatory of the renewed UN Fashion Charter, Ralph Lauren has committed to phasing out coal-fired boilers from its supply chain by 2030 to reduce air pollution and cut emissions.
Ralph Lauren publicly reports GHG emissions in its own operations, and in its supply chain. The company does provide a full breakdown of its Scope 3 emissions.
Ralph Lauren does publicly report its energy use for its own operations, including a breakdown of its renewable energy use and how that energy is sourced.
For its supply chain, Ralph Lauren does not publicly report its energy use, a breakdown of its suppliers’ renewable energy use, or how that energy is sourced.
Ralph Lauren does provide a supplier list to Tier 2, and some Tier 3.
Ralph Lauren does report providing its suppliers with training and resources to help them make energy efficiency improvements, including partnering with fabric mills to help them join the Aii which helps suppliers to reduce their emissions. It also invested in technical support for each manufacturing facility to develop carbon reduction roadmaps and clear action plans. However, it is not clear if Ralph Lauren provides its major suppliers with financial incentives for energy efficiency measures. It does not appear to require suppliers to make energy savings as a condition of contract.
Ralph Lauren does not report requiring suppliers to reduce thermal coal demand in their manufacturing processes.
Ralph Lauren does not report providing its suppliers with training and resources to help them transition to renewable energy. The company does not report providing financial support or incentives to make the energy transition and does not require suppliers to use renewable energy as a condition of contract.
Ralph Lauren does require its major suppliers to disclose GHG emissions data, and does require them to set GHG emissions reduction targets and provide facility level data.
Ralph Lauren has not committed to phase out fossil fuel based materials, but it get partial credit for only using less than 10% synthetic fibres in its material mix.
Ralph Lauren has not made a public policy to ban the sourcing of leather from the Amazon Biome or taken measurable steps to ensure that Amazon leather is not contributing to deforestation. But the company does claim to have processes in place to avoid leather sourced from deforested regions. However, Ralph Lauren was found to be at high risk of sourcing leather from deforestation in the Amazon Biome according to the Nowhere to Hide report.
Ralph Lauren has not committed to increase closed-loop apparel-to-apparel recycling for synthetics and plant-based materials. It has committed to 100% recycled polyester by 2025, but plans to use rPET to reach this goal, which does not reduce textile waste. Ralph Lauren committed to switch to 100% Better Cotton, organic cotton or cotton sourced from regenerative agriculture or Fair Trade certified by 2025, but should focus on regenerative and organic sources to be more impactful.
Ralph Lauren is acting marginally to increase circularity and address overproduction by policies to improve the repairability, resale, durability and recyclability of its clothes. It has a very limited commitment to connect consumers with options to rent, repair and recirculate its products in select top cities by 2025, but has no specific plans to improve the repairability and resale of its products.
Ralph Lauren does publicly report its material mix and the volume of materials. But it does not report its volume of deadstock or how it manages or disposes of its deadstock to reduce waste.
Ralph Lauren reports its shipping emissions annually, and does include shipping emissions in its GHG reduction targets. The company also provides a partial breakdown of its shipping methods.
Ralph Lauren does report having a policy to avoid aviation and commit to slower shipping methods such as maritime, rail and land. The company does not report having a near-term plan to ship its cargo via cleaner methods, and it reported a 41.1% increase in its upstream transportation and distribution emissions between 2019 and 2021.
Ralph Lauren has not committed to transitioning to zero emissions vessels (ZEV) by 2030. The company has not used its voice publicly to advocate for Zero Emission Shipping.
Ralph Lauren has yet to commit to transitioning its last mile delivery to zero emission vehicles.
Ralph Lauren is in coalition with 39 other companies to sign the Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI) Global Letter of Intent. This letter calls for a global clean energy transition in partnership with governments, non-profits, and other organizations. Ralph Lauren also joined 11 other companies in a joint Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI) letter of intent with the Philippines government. CEDI looks to energise private sector investment by leveraging both governmental policy and corporate clean energy commitments that grow renewable energy purchasing. Ralph Lauren is also a member of Fashion Pact and has joined the organization’s Collective Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (CVPPA).
More About Ralph Lauren
EngagementRalph Lauren did not respond to requests
- “2022 Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report,” June 24, 2022. https://corporate.ralphlauren.com/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-RalphLauren_Corporate-Library/default/dw7119005d/documents/2022-RL-GCSReport.pdf.
- “Factory Disclosure List,”, https://corporate.ralphlauren.com/cs-factory-list.html.
- “Global CEDI Statement of Intent.”
- “Ralph Lauren CDP,” 2020.
- “Ralph Lauren CDP,” 2021.
- “Ralph Lauren CDP,” 2022.
- “The Fashion Pact Announces New Initiatives on Climate and Beyond,” December 8, 2022. https://www.voguebusiness.com/sustainability/the-fashion-pact-announces-new-initiatives-on-climate-and-beyond.
- “The Philippines Commits to the Clean Energy Demand Initiative’s Goals with Corporate Partners,” March 15, 2022. https://www.state.gov/the-philippines-commits-to-the-clean-energy-demand-initiatives-goals-with-corporate-partners/.