Supply chain transparency could help the clothing industry significantly reduce its GHG emissions | UNECE

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As all eyes turn to Glasgow where world leaders have gathered at COP26 for crucial negotiations to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit global warming, UNECE experts highlight how improved transparency and traceability could be part of the solution. The private sector has a vital role to play in reducing GHG emissions to ensure that the world limits global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Agreement. However, most companies have only part of the picture when it comes to understanding the GHG emissions produced by the complex global supply chains in which they participate. Data from traceability and transparency could change this situation.

According to McKinsey, the apparel and footwear industry alone represents 2.1 billion tons (4 %) of global GHG emissions, equivalent to the emissions of France, Germany and the UK combined. To keep on a 1.5 degrees path, the industry will need to cut in half its emissions by 2030 and realise abatement opportunities, through decarbonisation initiatives and process improvements. This needs to happen particularly in the upstream part of the supply chain, where more than half of the sector’s emissions lie (Quantis, EEA). In fact, in the apparel sector, fiber production, yarn preparation, fabric dying and finishing account for 15%, 28% and 36% respectively, while in the footwear sector raw material extraction, processing and manufacturing account for 20%, 14% and 43% respectively.



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