Raising the Ambition for Nature

A fashion, textile and apparel sector primer on the first science-based targets for nature.

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Empowering the industry to act

Fashion is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the world and its supply chains are highly dependent on natural ecosystems. Biodiversity is what holds these ecosystems together, yet it is in a period of sharp decline.

The industry must do more to mitigate and transform its impact, but biodiversity is a complex subject to understand as it is very contextual. Every step of the value chain must be considered, from sourcing to the different processing steps, as well as the locations of these processes.

To enable fashion companies to start taking ambitious and measurable action, we are proud to introduce a new report for the industry: “Raising Ambition for Nature: A fashion, textile and apparel sector primer on the first science-based targets for nature”. 

What does the report entail?

The report is the first industry specific primer to navigate the new target-setting guidance from the Science Based Targets Network.

It includes an introduction to the science-based targets for nature, which are, according to the report, “measurable, actionable and time-bound objectives, based on the best available science, which allow actors to align with Earth’s limits and societal sustainability goals.” It also features an illustrative case study with guidance to show how targets are calculated and set, and actions that companies can take now to address nature loss including: understanding impacts, setting targets and mobilising change.

It is specifically designed to help Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs), lead sustainability roles and those addressing biodiversity topics in their organisation.

What are the key learnings for the industry?
  • Science-based targets for nature offer businesses a way of taking action to ensure their operational resilience while also addressing the wider issues associated with business impacts on nature.
  • Targets help drive cost efficiencies and increase innovations that are win–wins for both nature and climate.
  • Investment in sustainable actions is a growing market, which is positive for brands looking to make planet-friendly choices.
  • Making commitments to environment positive actions mitigates operational risk and creates supply chain resilience.
  • Regulation, policy and voluntary standards will increase as the world steps up to act. Brands must be prepared to understand and follow them.
  • Consumers are increasingly demanding better performance from brands when it comes to sustainability and brands will need to be able to respond to changes in the market.
  • Greenwashing will be highly scrutinised, leading to loss of consumer trust and potential fines if brands do not correctly manage reputational risks.

It is worth noting that the report considers science-based targets for nature to be an iterative and evolving process that will change as learnings are incorporated, updates released, and the nature and climate landscape develops. This should not act as a deterrent for action, but rather simply a reminder of the complex nature of the task at hand.

Ultimately, the primer states that the fashion, textile and apparel industry is well positioned to utilise science-based targets for nature to act now and pave the way to a net-zero, nature-positive world. We hope that you will be joining us on the journey.

To access the primer in full and start implementing the guidance, click here.

The primer is part of a two-year project, Transforming the Fashion Sector With Nature, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It was created by The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), The Fashion Pact and Conservation International.

This report complements the Biodiversity Landscape Analysis report. You can read more about it here.

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