While you’re here… help us stay here.

Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.

Attachment Size
Guidance 1.96 MB
Executive Summary 1.51 MB


  • The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the global apparel and footwear sector are significant and have the potential to increase considerably given trends such as fast fashion and growing consumption in emerging middle-income economies.
  • Given the environmental and business implications of increasing global emissions, the sector should actively mitigate GHG emissions to ensure that they are in line with what climate science says is needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) above pre-industrial temperatures. 
  • This guidance supports companies across the apparel and footwear sector value chain to set ambitious, science-based GHG emissions reduction targets (SBTs). The guidance refines existing corporate guidance by clarifying which target-setting methods are applicable for this sector, including case studies on best practices in target-setting and emissions reductions.
  • Value chain (scope 3) emissions are significant for this sector, and companies face numerous barriers to address them. This guidance identifies emissions hot spots for this sector and provides guidance on measuring and reducing these emissions. 
  • Collaboration is key for this sector to tackle emissions, and ample opportunities exist. This guidance highlights potential areas of collaboration across the value chain and the variety of organizations, tools, and initiatives that companies can leverage to develop and work toward their SBTs.
  • To ensure relevance and credibility, this guidance was developed in close consultation with leading industry experts representing apparel and footwear companies, consultancies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with relevant expertise.

Key findings

  • Count it: Complete a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, including a scope 3 inventory for all relevant categories. Use a combination of supplier-specific activity data where available and secondary data to fill in data gaps. Companies should prioritize supplier specific data collection on activities in the value chain where they have both significant emissions and the ability to influence GHG reductions.
  • Change it: Use the criteria and methods approved by the Science Based Targets initiative to set ambitious science-based targets for your company’s operations and along the value chain. Aggressively deploy energy efficiency and renewable energy across the value chain and substitute materials with lower environmental impacts. Continue exploring and measuring the impact of new business models for decoupling revenue growth from GHG emissions.
  • Scale it: Collaborate and share knowledge through partnerships and open-source tools to leverage shared influence and achieve impact at the scale and pace required by science.
Publication Details
License type:
Access Rights Type: