Hugo Boss to halve operational emissions within a decade

Other fashion brands targeting net-zero by 2050 include Zalando

Back in 2018, the fashion major signed the UN’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, along with 44 other businesses. The Charter bound signatories to charting a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, with an interim aim of reducing operational emissions by 30% by 2030.

Hugo Boss’s new targets go beyond the Charter’s interim pledge, and will see it halve Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by 2030, against a 2018 baseline.

According to the company’s most recent sustainability report, its Scope 1 and 2 emissions were collectively 24% lower in 2019 than in 2018, due to investments in onsite renewable energy generation, renewable electricity procurement and energy efficiency technologies. The year also saw Hugo Boss consolidate and optimise its logistics processes.

Hugo Boss has also targeting a 30% reduction in its Scope 3 (indirect) emissions within the same timeframe. Scope 3 emissions account for more than 90% of the company’s entire emissions footprint, with the bulk relating to raw materials and the energy use in the manufacturing process.

On raw materials, Hugo Boss has pledged to only source sustainably certified cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) by 2025 and is part of industry working groups on viscose and polyester supply chains, linked to deforestation and oil industry pollution respectively. It is also a Leather Working Group (LWG) member and targeting 100% certified leather within five years.

As for energy use in manufacturing, Hugo Boss is part of the UNFCC’s working group on this topic. The company claims that its Scope 3 target can “only be achieved if the partners are involved in the strategy process and are empowered to make their own contribution towards the reduction”. As such, the working group aims to create a shared strategy, produced in collaboration with suppliers and other end-user businesses.

Hugo Boss said in a statement that its new targets “meet the highest standards” and will ensure that it “plays its part in preventing the worst impacts of climate change”.

The global fashion industry is believed to account for one-tenth of the world’s annual carbon emissions.

Sarah George

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