Major Fashion Brands Increase Emissions in 2022
November 1, 2022
Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands (San Francisco) – Stand.earth’s 2022 Fashion Supply Chain Emissions Report, released today, shows how the fashion industry, responsible for 5–8% of annual climate emissions, has increased its emissions since committing itself to carbon reductions the previous year.
Of the ten companies assessed (American Eagle Outfitters, Fast Retailing, Gap Inc., H&M, Inditex, Kering, Lululemon, Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, VF Corp), only one, Levi’s, is projected to reduce its supply chain emissions by 55% compared with 2018 levels, in line with keeping warming below 1.5C.
Last year, Stand.earth released a similar analysis of nine of the biggest signatory brands of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, comparing their supply chain emissions trajectory with a 1.5-degree pathway. The analysis found that unless they make significant changes, all nine will fail to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. The new report holds the companies accountable for any progress they’ve made in the last year.
“If climate action is a catwalk, most of these brands are still looking for the dressing room. The data is clear, the leading fashion brands need to step up and do more to lower their carbon emissions. At COP26 all of these brands increased their commitment under the UN Fashion Charter, promising to halve their emissions by 2030. Yet despite some small signs of progress, most aren’t just failing, they’re actually getting worse,” Rachel Kitchin, Corporate Climate Campaigner for Stand.earth said. “These findings make it worryingly clear that those brands aren’t acting to decarbonize their supply chains, where the vast majority of climate-harming emissions come from.”
- Fashion brands are still off track to meet the 1.5-degree emissions pathway, and most are still going in the wrong direction.
- Two of the brands, Nike and Inditex (Zara), reported manufacturing emissions of close to 10 million tons of CO2e—the equivalent of more than 2 million gas-powered cars on the road per company.
- While many brands showed a ‘COVID dip’ in emissions in 2020, eight out of ten brands’ supply chain emissions climbed again in 2021, putting them further off-track to meeting their emissions goals.
- lululemon saw the steepest increase in its supply chain emissions, at over 60% growth in just one year.
“Fossil fuels have no place in a rapidly warming world, and certainly no place in our closets,” Gary Cook, Corporate Campaign Director for Stand.earth said. “Fashion brands must move to rapidly decarbonize their manufacturing by committing to 100% renewable energy for their supply chains, and phasing out fossil fuels as a source of energy, fabric and fuel.”
The past year has seen some signs of progress: two of the brands assessed, Levi’s and VF Corp, are showing a consistent downward emissions trajectory; and Kering and H&M have both recently made important commitments to phase out fossil fuels. Since COP26, H&M has committed to phase out onsite coal by 2025 and to transition their supply chain to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. However, even those with industry-leading commitments are still failing to provide transparency on their progress. To ensure accountability, H&M and others need to provide updates on their progress phasing out coal and fossil fuels.
Note on methodology: the report analysis was based on purchased goods and services data reported by companies in their sustainability or annual reports or in their responses to the CDP.
ABOUT STAND.EARTH In August 2020, Stand.earth released its Roadmap to Fossil-Free Fashion, outlining the steps the industry must take to get a handle on its rapidly growing carbon footprint by identifying five critical focus areas. (The 2021 Fossil Free Fashion Scorecard utilized these areas to measure performance.)
Emily Pomilio, Corporate Campaigns, Stand.Earth, 480-286-0401, firstname.lastname@example.org