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Sustainable Apparel Coalition launches climate action programme specifically for manufacturers

By Simone Preuss


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Making clothes. Image: Nappy / Pexels

At its annual meeting at the end of September, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition announced the launch of the Manufacturer Climate Action Program (MCAP) in collaboration with US sports brand Nike and US retail corporation Target.

MCAP was introduced as part of SAC’s Decarbonisation Program, designed to “catalyse support and drive the sector toward ambitious and necessary CO2 emissions reductions” according to the association's press release.

From decarbonisation to net zero

SAC is a global multi-stakeholder alliance that unites over 280 retailers, brands, manufacturers, governments, academics and nonprofit affiliates. MCAP’s mission is to enable manufacturers to start their decarbonisation journey by measuring carbon emissions and developing science-aligned targets for Scope 1 and 2. The industry’s overarching goal is to cut global CO2 emissions by 45 percent by 2030 (based on a 2010 baseline), while ultimately reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

“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,” comments Joyce Tsoi, SAC’s director of collective action programs.

MCAP is open to both SAC members and non-members and evolved from both Target’s Supplier Engagement Program and the Supplier Climate Action Program (SCAP), which was co-developed by Nike and its suppliers in consultation with the World Resource Institute (WRI).

“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,” states the release.

Among these tools is guidance on measuring emissions, assessing risk and benchmarking. These insights will then be used for strategic planning. While focusing on Scope 1 and 2 emissions initially to provide manufacturers with a manageable starting point, the long-term vision is to help them eventually secure science-based targets that encompass Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

Four key steps

The four following elements form the core of MCAP:

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

“Supply chain emissions amount, on average, to more than 70 percent of a company’s greenhouse gas 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,” sums up Liz Cook, executive vice president for governance & development, at the World Resource Institute. 

Sustainable Apparel Coalition