CONSOLIDATING SUPPLY CHAIN TO REACH CLIMATE TARGETS
BESTSELLER’s recently approved science-based climate targets create a great task ahead of including its supply chain in a grand remodelling of the present production setup and materials sourcing.
Almost all of BESTSELLER’s greenhouse gas emissions – a staggering 95 percent – are not directly BESTSELLER’s own emissions but come from connected activities outside of BESTSELLER – the so-called indirect scope 3 emissions. This means that BESTSELLER’s biggest environmental impact lies in its supply chain and with the consumers.
To create a real impact, BESTSELLER is obligated to find far-reaching ways to tackle its vast supply chain as well as downstream in the consumer use phase.
This is precisely what BESTSELLER has signed up for through the Science Based Targets initiative and the approved target of a 30 percent CO2 reduction in scope 3 (for ‘purchased goods and ser-vices and upstream and downstream transportation’).
“These targets will truly change the way BESTSELLER works. We now take responsibility for areas which traditionally have been seen as more or less out of our control,” says Dorte Rye Olsen, BESTSELLER’s Sustainability Manager.
“Indirect emissions are further away from our usual leverage and direct influence. Basically, this means we need to pursue changes through other businesses which require clear incentives, strong collaboration and transparency.”
Supplier consolidation and collaboration
Several changes are marked out to happen immediately as BESTSELLER will report progress from 2021.
Regarding materials, focus is on sourcing more circularly and sustainably, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and more sustainable viscose. Additionally, enhanced traceability and transparency to the fabric mills which weave, knit and dye BESTSELLER’s materials will be needed, given the considerable impact in materials processing. Improving data management to get more correct data overall – such as supplier and facility business data improvement and facility energy data verification – will help BESTSELLER to know where to target its efforts.
In general, supply chain partners must in the future be chosen with even more care. A distinct Fashion FWD goal is supplier and materials consolidation, which also goes hand in hand with the SBTs. An estimate from BESTSELLER shows that consolidation can lead to a 50 percent emission reduction in tier 1, 2 and 3 and a 15 percent reduction in transport.
“We will need to place our orders with suppliers who are performing highly on sustainability and have ambitious climate strategies – throughout the supply chain. We are working hard to create regional plans to support our suppliers in this transition,” says Felicity Tapsell, Responsible Sourcing Manager in BESTSELLER.
“We cannot work with suppliers across regions in one approach. Changes must be designed to fit the local conditions and the individual supplier – as we would do in all matters.”
Care for, reuse, recycle
More than 1/4 of BESTSELLER’s overall CO2 footprint lies with the consumers; how they treat their BESTSELLER product after purchase, such as laundering. Consequently, we must engage with our consumers on how they can influence each product’s environmental impact.
“We need the consumers along with us. It is our responsibility that our products are created with circularity in mind and simultaneously we have to inspire our consumers to choose the right product, take good care of it, reuse it and, eventually, pass it on to a new life after it is worn out,” Dorte says.
“Our future raw materials should basically be harvested from the consumers’ closets to create a more circular economy. It will, however, require systems changes, including sorting possibilities and new technologies, such as chemical recycling and other indispensable innovation.”
Throughout the target validation process, BESTSELLER has also highlighted the importance of scope 1 and 2 – even though they only represent five percent of the total emissions.
”We need to have our own house in order. All changes must start with yourself, your own employees, your own business – and then you inspire the world around you to join forces,” Dorte finishes.
Scope 1 and 2 include electricity use, heating and cooling of buildings and use of vehicles owned or con-trolled by BESTSELLER.
Scope 3 includes raw material, yarn and fabric production, garment manufacturing, transport, packag-ing, use of sold product and the product’s end-of-life – the extended value chain.