Apparel & Footwear Climate Change Question 4

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Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations (Scope 3)?

  • Dutch version: Heeft het merk (bedrijf) een actief beleid om ook de CO2 uitstoot te verminderen of te compenseren bij de toeleveranciers in de productieketens (Scope 3)?
  • German version: Setzt der Markenhersteller Maßnahmen um, um Treibhausgasemissionen innerhalb der Liefer- und Produktionskette zu reduzieren, minimieren und/oder kompensieren?


This question relates to ‘Scope 3’ (and not to scope 1 and 2) of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (see image p.26 and further p.29), here we are specifically referring to emissions made throughout the production chain of purchased products.

In sectors like the Apparel and Footwear sector, the supply/production chain is accountable for a vast and major part of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to ‘own operations’ of the brands. Although the production units (like farms and factories) throughout the production and supply chain are mostly categorized as ‘low, or no-influence entities’, meaning that the brands have limited influence on reducing the carbon emissions in the supply chain, this is where the real challenges are and therefore we ask companies what their policy is.

NOTE: Although Scope 3 may include emissions from e.g. business travel, transportation & distribution, employee commuting & teleworking, for this question we ONLY take Scope 3 emissions into account that come from suppliers/factories that are NOT owned by the brands themselves.

Please also note that for the question, the supply chain is here defined by all steps in the production chain until shipping of the end products (and in cases half- finished products) to the brand owners. Be sure that you do not reward points for transportation in the distribution chain (from brand owners to retailers).

Ranking guidelines

A ‘Yes’ goes to the companies that have a reasonable policy on this, including goals or actions and in any case a recent (max. 2,5 years old) report with tangible results or to brands that report their relevant Scope 3 emissions (from suppliers/factories NOT owned by the brands themselves). For an example of a progressive policy to reduce carbon emissions in the supply chain plus reporting on results, see Nike's CSR Report or Hanesbrands' Carbon Footprint (brand owner of Champion). It is also eligible to assign a ‘Yes’ when a brand clearly reports, which suppliers are bluesign certified. With regard to its suppliers of fabrics the outdoor brand Houdini can be considered as best practice.

Also, for now brands that give a complete insight in their Scope 3 emissions, without mentioning a concrete policy with targets and actions, should be rewarded with a 'yes'.

Answering guidelines


  • [Brand] has a concrete policy to reduce carbon emissions in the supply chain such as [..], and clearly reports on tangible results (see link/page).
  • [Brand] has published a list of direct supplier which are bluesign certified.


  • [Brand] explicitly says not to [..] (see link/page)


  • [Brand] mentions the target to reduce carbon emissions in the supply chain, but does not provide any clear policies/goals/actions/initiatives* and tangible results on reducing carbon emissions in the supply chain (see link/page).
  • [Brand] does not communicate a policy to reduce the carbon emissions in the supply chain that is beyond own operations on its website.

'* You can pick the topic(s) that adheres to 'your' brand.