SAC Launches MCAP to Decarbonise Apparel Manufacturing

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_SAC Launches MCAP to Decarbonise Apparel Manufacturing
Image courtesy of SAC

Last week, an exciting development emerged at the 2023 SAC Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, where the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global alliance encompassing over 280 stakeholders, including retailers, brands, manufacturers, governments, academics, and nonprofit partners, unveiled the Manufacturer Climate Action Programme (MCAP).

This initiative carried out in collaboration with industry leaders NIKE and Target Corporation, is a pivotal component of the SAC's broader Decarbonisation Programme, aiming to galvanise support and lead the textile and apparel industry towards ambitious CO2 emissions reductions.

Amidst the urgent need for collective action to reduce global CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 (from a 2010 baseline) and strive for net-zero emissions by 2050, MCAP's mission is clear: to provide manufacturers with a pragmatic starting point for their decarbonisation journey.

This entails measuring carbon emissions and establishing science-aligned targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which manufacturers can directly control. Notably, MCAP omits Scope 3 measurements initially, recognising that these can often be a barrier to manufacturers setting science-aligned targets. By focusing on Scope 1 and 2, the programme offers manufacturers an attainable entry point to kickstart their journey towards decarbonisation.

The benefits of MCAP are manifold, including reductions in energy usage, cost savings, and alignment with customer expectations. Moreover, it promotes knowledge sharing and the rapid dissemination of best practices, firmly embodying the SAC's commitment to preserving the planet for future generations.

MCAP adopts a stepwise approach consisting of four fundamental elements:

  • Manufacturers establish, validate, and disclose science-aligned emission reduction goals on a company-wide basis.

  • Manufacturers receive guidance and training to conduct climate risk assessments for their operations, both physical and transition risks, forging connections with value chain partners, including brands.

  • Manufacturers are equipped with guidance to formulate decarbonisation plans, responding to the industry's call for transparency and effective resource allocation.

  • MCAP encourages a culture of transparency and accountability by urging manufacturers to annually report their progress publicly. This commitment to openness fosters accountability within organisations and nurtures a collective culture of growth and innovation.

These four elements constitute the core of MCAP, empowering manufacturers to take concrete actions to combat climate change, enhance operational efficiency, spur growth, and advance sustainability within the industry.

MCAP is an evolution of Target's Supplier Engagement Programme and NIKE's Supplier Climate Action Programme (SCAP), developed in consultation with the World Resource Institute (WRI).

Notably, MCAP extends its reach to both SAC members and non-members, signifying a united effort to accelerate the adoption of science-aligned targets among manufacturers.

What sets MCAP apart is its holistic approach, meticulously integrating essential management tools tailored to manufacturers' unique needs. These tools encompass emission measurement, risk assessment, performance benchmarking, and leveraging insights for strategic planning. MCAP lays the foundation manufacturers require to craft effective plans and expedite meaningful climate action.

Looking ahead, MCAP's long-term vision is to guide manufacturers toward securing science-based targets encompassing Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. It serves as a crucial initial step in this journey, equipping manufacturers with the tools and guidance necessary to embrace a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.

Joyce Tsoi, Director of Collective Action Programs at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, emphasises the coalition's role as a convener in the consumer goods industry. Tsoi highlights the importance of collaborative solutions and partnerships to address climate challenges at a systemic level, recognising the need for collective strength to set science-aligned targets and reduce CO2 emissions on a global scale.

Noel Kinder, Chief Sustainability Officer at NIKE, Inc., underscores the responsibility of industry giants to drive impact and acknowledges that addressing climate change requires collaboration. NIKE's SCAP paved the way for supplier engagement, and MCAP represents the next step in scaling impact across NIKE's supply chain and the industry as a whole.

Liz Cook, Executive Vice President for Governance & Development at World Resource Institute (WRI), emphasises the significant role of supply chain emissions in a company's overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. She points out that supporting suppliers in mitigating climate risks and becoming resilient to climate change is vital to setting and achieving ambitious emissions reduction targets across the value chain.

The SAC is actively gauging manufacturer interest in MCAP and plans to launch the programme in 2024. Progress and participation will be publicly tracked on the SAC website, providing insight into how many manufacturers have joined the initiative and the strides made towards industry-wide decarbonisation.

In conclusion, MCAP marks a significant stride in the global fight against climate change. With the textile industry accounting for up to 8% of global carbon emissions, the SAC is steadfast in its commitment to reducing GHG emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and supporting members and the industry at large in their decarbonisation efforts.

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Source: SAC

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