What is the Decarbonization Program?

Decarbonization is the process of reducing or removing carbon emissions to help balance out the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere. The apparel sector is responsible for between two and eight percent of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Left unchecked, emissions will keep growing, well off pace to deliver the 45 percent absolute reduction needed by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. 

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) has launched the Decarbonization Program in an effort to tackle this issue. The program will support and drive the sector to work towards this ambitious, urgent, and necessary emissions reduction. The program will focus on collaboration, member support and delivering tools and guidance to make achieving these targets possible. 

Read the Press Release

On December 8, 2022, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition launched its Decarbonization Program to drive SBT adoption and reduction in emissions across the fashion industry. 

Science Based Targets

Developed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), “science-based targets provide a clearly-defined pathway for companies and financial institutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rooted in latest climate science, helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof business growth. Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. SBTi leads this area globally in defining target setting guidance and methodology and promotes best practices.” 

As part of the Decarbonization Program, SAC corporate members will be required to commit and set Science Based Targets (SBTs) from 2023. The program aims to provide educational and advisory support to members who have not yet committed to SBTs or who are in the process of doing so. Setting SBTs is a crucial step for companies to take in developing a decarbonization strategy and plan to cut emissions.

“There’s an urgency for the industry to take collective action to solve the joint challenges we are facing. We need to work together across the whole value chain to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.” 

– pascal brun, head of sustainability, h&m 

Higg FEM 4.0 & SBT Trainings 2023

Join us for two new training sessions, Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) 4.0 Training and Science-Based Target (SBT) Training, hosted on June 14 in Milan, Italy.

Photo of Milan in the mist

The Decarbonization Guide for Members

The newly launched Decarbonization Guide for Members supports the fashion and apparel sector in committing to science-based targets and delivering against validated SBTs.


Want to know how SAC is mobilizing collective action?

Check out the recent blog from Collective Action Programs Director Joyce Tsoi on how the SAC is making an impact in driving SBT adoption.

“Through the Decarbonization Program, we are building important collective action solutions to drive large-scale systematic change required in our global supply chains which no single company can do this alone. Members are listening and learning from each other to address the most pressing and difficult issues we are all facing in different geographical regions, driving shared solutions to shared problems and making sure our targets become a reality. It’s the only way we can ensure our industry has a future.”

– Joyce tsoi, Director of Collective action programs, Sac 

“There’s an urgency for us to tackle the current climate crisis, as a collective action coalition which represents half of the apparel, footwear and textile sector we must address environmental and social issues through collaboration and equal partnership on common grounds. We must take more actions where value chain partners should be equally engaged and motivated each other to drive urgent actions to reduce emissions as a shared objective.”

– delman lee, vice chair, tal apparel 

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