The report analyses 43 leading apparel and footwear companies on their commitments and actions to reduce their carbon footprints in line with a 1.5°C emissions pathway identified in the Paris Climate Accord.
Stand.earth developed the 2023 Fossil-Free Fashion Scorecard (2023 Scorecard) to track changes within the fashion sector by assessing the progress made by companies to decarbonise their supply chains over an 18-month period. It builds from the 2021 Fossil-Free Fashion Scorecard published in August 2021.
The 2023 Scorecard focused on the same list of companies mentioned in the 2021 Scorecard while adding Amazon, Richemont, SHEIN, Target, and Walmart; removing C&A, Gant, Esprit, Everlane, M&S, Pentland, SKFK, and Vaude; and consolidating Arc’teryx and Salomon into Amer Sports. The Fossil-Free Fashion Scorecard regularly evaluates a cross section of the largest and most influential fashion and apparel companies in the world, prioritizing those whose market reach, influence among peer brands, and volume of production provides both a responsibility and opportunity to lead the sector away from its reliance on fossil fuels. The 2023 Scorecard has prioritised adding high volume retail companies (Amazon, Walmart, and Target) and the fast growing fast fashion giant SHEIN, given their volume of production and their influence over other brands.
To evaluate performance of all companies, Stand.earth used publicly available sources such as corporate sustainability and annual reports, submissions to CDP, Refinitiv Eikon, company websites, social media accounts, and press releases. The organisation has sought to verify the accuracy of company statements by cross-referencing with other publicly available data and information.
Stand.earth also shared individual scorecard and assessment details with each named company prior to the publication of the 2023 Scorecard, with an invitation for them to provide feedback and disclose any additional public information not already captured during data collection.
Using data from public sources and feedback from companies, Stand.earth assigned letter grades to companies for each of the five categories as well as for an overall grade. Stand.earth followed an F to A+ grade scale, with A+ being the highest possible score and F being the lowest. For determining the overall company grade, categories received different levels of consideration and were weighted as follows (see Figure 10). Actual GHG emissions are referenced in this report, however, they are only considered for benchmarking and grading purposes in Category 5: Greener shipping. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and distorting impact it may have had on businesses and their supply chains, actual emissions are not otherwise benchmarked or graded in this report. It should be noted that the consideration provided and scoring weight are also slightly different compared to that in the 2021 Scorecard.
Climate commitments and transparency
Stand.earth evaluated companies on the strength of their publicly stated commitments to reduce GHG emissions across their entire value chains in line with a 1.5°C pathway, as well as the level of detail made publicly available on their energy consumption and GHG emissions. The team considered company signatories of the UN Fashion Charter for Climate Action as committed to sourcing 100% of electricity from renewable sources in their own operations by 2030 and phasing out coal from their supply chains by 2030.
Company performance was evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Absolute GHG emissions reduction target of 55% or greater by 2030 and commitment to 100% renewable energy in own operations.
- Absolute GHG emissions reduction target of 55% or greater by 2030 and commitment to 100% renewable energy in the supply chain. Public commitment to phase out coal-fired boilers from the supply chain by 2030 or earlier.
- Evidence of moving toward 100% renewable energy by 2030; ensuring the renewable energy purchased is connected to demand, additional, and not relying on unbundled renewable energy credits.
- Annual publication of GHG emissions from Scopes 1, 2, and 3, including full Scope 3 breakdown.
- Annual publication of energy use data for own operations and supply chain including energy demand, renewable energy breakdown, and attributes associated with purchase/implementation.
- Public reporting of the list of factories and suppliers to Tier 4.
Renewable energy and energy-efficient manufacturing
Leadership in this area involved reduction in fossil fuel energy demand and increase in efficiency and renewables. Major fashion companies were assessed on their efforts to require and incentivise their suppliers to resource renewable energy and put in place energy efficiency measures, including:
- Training, financial support, incentivisation, or requirement of suppliers to reduce reliance on fossil fuels through the use of energy efficiency measures.
- Training, financial support, incentivisation, or requirement of suppliers to deploy renewable energy in facilities. Reduction in fossil fuel energy demand due to investments in measures to increase the use of renewables.
Explicit requirement for suppliers to set GHG emission targets or engage with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), provide facility level data via Higg FEM or other reporting, and publicly report GHG emissions annually.Learn More
Renewable energy advocacy
Stand.earth assessed companies on their efforts since the launch of the 2021 Scorecard to urge policymakers, especially in countries where textile and garment manufacturers are concentrated, to increase factory access to renewable energy and remove barriers that stifle the clean energy transformation. Credits were awarded based on the extent to which the advocacy can drive changes from policymakers to focus on renewable energy, remove capacity charges, and promote rooftop solar and DPPAs. Examples included:
- A call for an end to investments in coal power plants or fossil fuel infrastructure attached to the supply chain.
- Support for national or sub-national renewable energy or GHG reduction targets.
- Support for green-energy-focused economic recovery packages.
- Support for policies aiming to expand access to renewable electricity procurement options in key supply chain markets.
Low-carbon and longer lasting materials
Stand.earth assessed companies on their ambition, policies, and actions to decarbonise their fashion materials. The 2023 Scorecard also included a criterion to examine corporate forest policies, especially those involving deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
Specifically, the Scorecard evaluated company commitments and progress on:
- Investment in innovation and reducing reliance on fossil fuel based materials by phasing out all fibres such as polyester and nylon by 2030. It should be noted that recycled polyester was not considered as a measure toward the phase out of fossil fuel based materials.
- Elimination of the use of wood-based materials (such as viscose) as well as leather linked to deforestation, especially in sensitive ecosystems such as the Amazon biome.
- Progress toward low-carbon materials, primarily the use of recycled synthetic fabrics over rPET bottles, to advance circularity; increasing closed-loop recycling for plant-based materials; increasing the use of organic or regenerative cotton; and addressing overproduction via policies or programs that explicitly aim to significantly improve durability, repairability, resale, and recyclability.
Disclosure of material and fibre mix as well as volumes of materials and quantity of deadstock, and actions to dispose of material waste.Learn More
Stand.earth evaluated companies on the strength of their strategies and measurable progress toward reducing GHG and other pollution associated with the shipment of products, prior to the point of sale, via marine and air cargo. Setting a shipping emissions reduction target, adopting clearer transportation methods, and committing to ZEVs by 2030 is key to achieving greener shipping. Commitment to zero-emissions last-mile delivery was considered a bonus. High-scoring companies would demonstrate:
- Inclusion of shipping emissions in GHG targets and annual reporting; breakdown of shipping methods or emissions included in the annual report.
- Significant reduction in upstream shipping emissions; commitments to slower shipping modes, avoiding aviation and/or shortening of the supply chain; near-term plans to ship cargo via cleaner vessels or low-emission fuels, or import through greener ports.
- Commitment to ZEVs by 2030 and support the deployment of ZEVs; public advocacy for reducing shipping-related pollution and supporting ZEV port infrastructure; commitment to zero-emissions last-mile delivery.
Aii – Apparel Impact Institute
CbD – Clean by Design
CEDI – Clean Energy Demand Initiative
CEIA – Clean Energy Investment Accelerator
CLP – Carbon Leadership Program
COP – Conference of the parties
coZEV – Cargo owners for zero emission vessels
DPPA – Direct power purchase agreement
CAGR – Compound annual growth rate
CVPPA – Collective virtual power purchase agreement
GHG – Greenhouse gas
GiZ – Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
IEPMP – Integrated Energy and Power Master Plan
IFC- International Finance Corporation
JETP – Just Energy Transition Partnerships
LIA – Leather Impact Accelerator
LNG – Liquified Natural Gas
LWG – Leather Working Group
MSI – Material Sustainability Index
REC – Renewable energy certificates
ReLI – Responsible Luxury Initiative
rPET – Recycled polyethylene terephthalate
PPA – Power Purchase Agreement
PV – Photovoltaics
SAC – Sustainable Apparel Coalition
SBTi – Science-Based Target initiative
UNEP – United Nations Environment Program
UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
WRI – World Resources Institute
ZEV – Zero emission vessel
- The Fossil-Free Fashion Scorecard expands upon the company analysis of Stand’s Filthy Fashion Climate Scorecard, released in October of 2019, focusing greater attention on company efforts to eliminate fossil fuels from critical areas of their value chain and drive the deployment and use of renewable energy.
- These reports disclosed corporate environmental and sustainability commitments and performance, albeit under different names, such as Benefit Corporation Report, Corporate Social Responsibility Report, Environmental, Social, and Governance Report, Environmental Profit and Loss Report, Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, Impact Report, Social and Environmental Responsibility Report, Statement on Non-Financial Information, Sustainability Progress Report, Sustainability and Ethics Report, Universal Registration Document.
- The CDP is an international non-profit organisation that collects environmental impact data from corporations, cities, states, and regions.
- Refinitiv Eikon is a database providing industry data, insights, and news.
- Please note that the data used to score the companies is as of December 31, 2022.
- Given the diversity of corporate structures, Stand.earth only evaluates efforts at the group level. In instances where companies own and control sub-brands (for example, Gucci is considered a sub-brand of Kering), Stand.earth has recognised relevant commitments and actions of their sub-brands and listed them in the Scorecard. However, only company-wide commitments and efforts received credits.
- It should be noted that the evaluation criteria in the 2023 Scorecard are slightly different from that of the 2021 Scorecard. From a general perspective, low-carbon materials and circularity are given more weight and accordingly, climate commitments and supply chain energy transparency are assigned less weight.
- In the Nowhere to Hide Report issued by Stand, 21 brands were found to be at a high risk of contributing to deforestation in the Amazon. However, this information was not used as the basis of scoring for this report. “Nowhere to Hide: How the Fashion Industry Is Linked to Amazon Rainforest Destruction.”
- When sending letters to companies, this criterion assessed whether there was a short-term commitment to reduce shipping emissions in the supply chain. Given that no company reported having a short-term commitment, Stand.earth adjusted this criterion to examine the actual state of shipping emissions reduction efforts.