Climate impact from manufacture of garments

Climate impact from manufacture of garments

CO2 emissions from external factories that manufacture our products contribute to the environmental impact in the production chain.

Production is often in countries with less access to renewable energy and at facilities that don’t always have the most efficient equipment, sometimes because it is older or poorly maintained. In many traditional production countries renewable energy accounts for a smaller share of the electricity produced and available.

Given this, the choice of country of manufacture also affects the total environmental footprint. In recent years we have increased the percentage of production in Europe, which offers more renewable energy. At the same time China is the country that currently invests the most in renewable energy.

Our goal

To address climate impacts in the production chain, we take action to influence the factories we have direct relationships with. The goal is that contracted factories will reduce their energy consumption and climate impacts in general (e.g., from emissions) and over time achieve measurable improvements.

What we are doing to achieve our goal

We are evaluating the ability of our factories to reduce their climate impact. We conduct semiannual evaluations of our factories as well as an annual follow-up of their environmental performance. The evaluation is based on various Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for sustainability such as certifications or documented measures to reduce electricity and water consumption, lower emissions and improve chemicals management. Supplier engagement and willingness to improve are evaluated as well. Each manufacturer receives a total score, and those with good results and that improve over time have a chance for more purchases from us, and in that way can develop their businesses.

In 2015 an environmental project was implemented at a production facility in our supply chain as part of the Sweden Textile Water Initiative. The project was carried out at a factory in China that produces finished garments with the aim of identifying potential energy improvements. As a result, the factory was able to reduce its energy consumption and chemical usage by 12 percent. The project also resulted in concrete proposals to better inform employees about energy efficiency, optimize air compression in the factory, install measurement instruments to better monitor consumption, reuse steam in order to conserve water, and switch the lighting to LED.