Sustainable Apparel Coalition Announces Launch of Manufacturer Climate Action Program (MCAP) at 2023 SAC Annual Meeting

Program to enable manufacturers on their decarbonization journey
Oct 2, 2023 4:00 AM ET
Campaign: Collective Action
Wind turbines

SAN FRANCISCO, AMSTERDAM and HONG KONG, October 2, 2023 /3BL/ - Last week, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global multi-stakeholder alliance uniting over 280 retailers, brands, manufacturers, governments, academics, and nonprofit affiliates, announced the launch of the Manufacturer Climate Action Program (MCAP) at the 2023 SAC Annual Meeting on September 26th in Boston, Massachusetts. In collaboration with industry leaders NIKE and Target Corporation, the SAC introduced MCAP as a critical component of its Decarbonization Program, designed to catalyze support and drive the sector toward ambitious and necessary CO2 emissions reductions.

The textile and apparel industry faces the urgent need for collective action to significantly reduce global CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030, based on its 2010 baseline, ultimately striving for net-zero emissions by 2050. MCAP’s mission is to enable manufacturers to start their decarbonization journey by providing an intermediate pathway for them to measure carbon emissions and develop science-aligned targets for Scope 1 and 2 where they have direct control. Notably, MCAP excludes Scope 3 measurements because they often create a barrier for manufacturers taking steps toward setting science-aligned targets. By focusing on Scope 1 and 2 emissions initially, the program aims to provide manufacturers with a manageable starting point for their decarbonization journey.

This program will enable manufacturers to reduce energy use, save money, and meet the business expectations of their customers. It also aims to facilitate the sharing of learning and rapidly scale best practices. This program reflects the SAC’s commitment to safeguarding the planet for generations to come.

MCAP will take a pragmatic approach, providing a stepwise process to build manufacturers’ capability to accelerate target setting, and comprises four core elements:

  • First, manufacturers set, validate, and disclose company-wide science-aligned emission reduction goals, recognizing this as a fundamental step toward a sustainable future.
  • Second, manufacturers receive recommendations and training on developing climate risk assessments for their operations, including physical and transition risks, documenting these risks to bridge connections with value chain partners, including brands.
  • Next, manufacturers receive guidance for developing their decarbonization plans, responding to the industry's growing call for transparency and enabling effective allocation of investments and resources.
  • Finally, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability, MCAP encourages manufacturers to annually disclose their progress and share reports publicly. This commitment to openness will ensure accountability within organizations and nurture a collective culture of growth and innovation.

These four elements form the core of MCAP, empowering manufacturers to take substantive actions in reducing emissions to combat climate change, improving operational efficiency and growth, and further advancing sustainability throughout the industry.

MCAP evolved from both Target’s Supplier Engagement Program and the Supplier Climate Action Program (SCAP), which was co-developed by NIKE and its suppliers and in consultation with World Resource Institute (WRI). MCAP is open to both SAC members and non-members, in a concerted effort to accelerate the number of manufacturers with science-aligned targets. What sets MCAP apart is its comprehensive approach to supporting manufacturers in a stepwise manner. The program meticulously integrates key management tools into the program, tailored specifically to meet the unique needs of manufacturers. These tools include guidance on measuring emissions, assessing risk, benchmarking performance, and leveraging these insights to inform strategic planning. By establishing these fundamental building blocks, MCAP equips manufacturers with the essential resources they need to develop effective plans and accelerate meaningful climate change actions.

The long-term vision for MCAP is to help manufacturers eventually secure science-based targets that encompass Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. MCAP serves as the crucial first step on this journey, providing the necessary tools and guidance to propel manufacturers towards a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.

Joyce Tsoi, Director of Collective Action Programs, at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, said: “As a convener of the consumer goods industry, we have a unique opportunity to rally our community’s collective strength and drive transformative change to set science-aligned targets, averting the worst climate impacts. Through our Decarbonization Program, we co-create solutions and foster collaborations necessary for systemic change within global supply chains, recognizing that addressing this challenge requires that no single entity can tackle this challenge alone. MCAP represents a key initiative, uniting manufacturers globally to accelerate action towards science-aligned emissions targets, significantly reducing global CO2 emissions at scale. By partnering with industry leaders and offering scalable solutions, we can empower our industry to confront emission reductions and instigate the change we need to support low-carbon transition.”

Noel Kinder, Chief Sustainability Officer, at NIKE, Inc, said: “At our size and scale, we have a responsibility to drive impact. With a challenge like climate change, we know we can’t do it alone. NIKE’s SCAP was designed to help suppliers take a leadership role in addressing their climate risk. Working with SAC and Target to develop the MCAP program is the next step in scaling impact across NIKE’s supply chain and the industry.”

Liz Cook, Executive Vice President for Governance & Development, at World Resource Institute (WRI), said: “Supply chain emissions amount, on average, to more than 70% of a company’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To set, and achieve, ambitious emissions reduction targets across the value chain, companies need to support their suppliers. Programs like the Manufacturer Climate Action Program (MCAP), and companies like Nike and Target, set out to do this by helping suppliers build their capacity to mitigate and become more resilient to climate change. Beyond MCAP, WRI is pleased to partner with NIKE to accelerate renewable energy solutions in strategic global markets — a key strategy for achieving these objectives. This work is critical to scaling climate action globally.”

The SAC is actively gathering manufacturer interest in MCAP and plans to begin program implementation in 2024. Progress of MCAP will be tracked and shared on the SAC website, providing information on how many manufacturers have joined the program and the progress made.

MCAP represents a significant step forward in the global effort to combat climate change. As part of its strategic plan, the SAC acknowledges that the textile industry alone accounts for up to 8% of global carbon emissions and is committed to a minimum 45% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030. The SAC is committed to supporting its members and the industry in achieving decarbonization.

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About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an independent and impact-creating organization that aims to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability based upon a joint approach for measuring, evaluating, and improving performance.

As a non-profit organization, it has members from across the apparel, footwear and textile sector, but exists independently outside any one company so that it can drive progress. The SAC’s collective action efforts bring more than 280 global brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, academics and industry associations together. They represent about half of the apparel and footwear industry along the whole supply chain – from sustainability pioneers to organizations just getting started.

Before the SAC existed, companies worked in a siloed way, using their own programs and measurements that lacked standardization and an ability to drive collective action. In 2009, Walmart and Patagonia identified this as a serious problem. Joining forces, they brought together peers, competitors, and relevant stakeholders from across the sector to, on a pre-competitive basis, develop a universal approach to measuring sustainability performance and founded the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

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