The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer many business opportunities for companies while addressing critical operational risks, according to a new report produced by audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP; in partnership with the non-profit organization, Textile Exchange: *Threading the Needle: Weaving the Sustainable Development Goals into the Textile, Retail and Apparel Industry*. The report offers SDG guidance to apparel, retail and textile suppliers, brands and retailers on business considerations and opportunities for shared value, an SDG engagement model, best practices and multi-stakeholder initiatives, and considerations for top sourcing countries.
“Threading the Needle is an important first step in understanding how existing industry initiatives can advance the 2030 Agenda, including adoption of more sustainable fibers and materials, responsible production and circular business practices,” said La Rhea Pepper, the Managing Director of Textile Exchange.
”The report provides a roadmap for companies seeking to realize the SDGs in their own sector and value chain,” said Anita Whitehead, principal for KPMG’s Development and Exempt Organizations (DEO) practice in the U.S. “The report aims to provide companies with guidance and information that will help prioritize their SDG focus where it can generate the most impact.”
The UN Global Compact and KPMG developed the SDG Industry Matrix, a series of publications that profiled shared value opportunities and aligned these to each SDG target. Threading the Needle builds on the SDG matrices to focus in on the unique opportunities for companies in the textile, retail and apparel sectors to scale positive social, environmental and economic impact through the SDGs.
“Threading the Needle is an amazing information source for the apparel industry to tackle the global challenges of the SDGs. This valued toolkit supports my discussions with the textile supply chain and apparel brands as a starting point to integrate the SDGs into their sustainability platforms and goals. Collaboration is key for impactful change,” noted Tricia Carey, Director of Global Business Development for Lenzing AG.
SDG engagement framework
Threading the Needle identifies a “SDG engagement framework” that focuses on eight SDGs where the industry can have the most direct impact. The report provides representative case studies in which the SDGs are being implemented by companies. These examples are intended to demonstrate the first steps that companies can take to integrate the SDGs into their core business and value chain.
Threading the Needle is available for download here and on the KPMG website and Textile Exchange website. Further insights will be offered at the upcoming Textile Exchange sustainability conference in Milan, October 23-24th.