In a unique industry collaboration, the three online retailers are launching a bespoke learning platform to support their brand partners in setting science-based emissions-reduction targets.
Online fashion retailers About You, Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) and Zalando have teamed up for a joint effort to reduce carbon emissions within their value chains and across the fashion industry. The ecommerce giants are launching an online learning platform to support their brand partners in setting science-based emissions-reduction targets. The work forms a critical part of the three retailers’ own respective climate journeys, with each having already set ambitious reduction targets themselves through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
The customized program — which will be available for free to About You, YNAP and Zalando brand partners — is designed to explain the value and process behind setting climate targets. It will provide step-by step guidance on how to begin effectively measuring emissions, set ambitious targets that align with climate science, and submit them for approval to SBTi. It will also provide a dedicated space for fashion brands to engage with one another and with sustainability experts.
While each of the three online retailers are committed to their own direct emissions reductions, 70-90 percent of the fashion footprint comes from upstream supply chain activities — such as material production, preparation and processing. The initiative therefore serves two main goals: to scale climate action for broader impact and industry-wide transformation, whilst also helping to reduce the three online retailers’ own value chain (Scope 3) emissions.
“Decarbonizing supply chains in partnership with suppliers, brands, logistics, packaging partners and now also our competitors is a powerful lever for driving meaningful change in the fashion industry,” says David Schneider, Co-CEO at Zalando. “We aim for 90 percent of our partners (by emissions) to set science-based targets by 2025; and the new learning platform is a key initiative towards realizing this ambitious goal.”
Amid calls for industry players to take an ambitious position on climate action, science-based targets validated by the SBTi are internationally recognized and provide companies with clearly defined pathways to reduce their carbon emissions while future-proofing growth, adapting to a changing regulatory landscape, boosting investor confidence, and spurring innovation.
“We see an industry-changing momentum in aligning greenhouse gas emission-reduction pathways with science. More than 1,500 companies had their targets approved by the SBTi as of July 2022; we have set science-based targets approved by the SBTi and are benefitting from our efforts now,” stated Hannes Wiese, co-founder and co-CEO of About You — one of Europe’s largest fashion and lifestyle platforms. “46.6 percent of our partners on greenhouse gas emissions had their targets approved by February 2022. We invite the remaining business partners to do the same.”
“Our commitment to climate action can only be realized through innovative partnership. This next step prioritizes investing in brand partners at different stages in their climate journeys, supporting them to set their science-based targets,” said Geoffroy Lefebvre, CEO of luxury e-tailer Yoox Net-a-Porter. “By collaborating with About You and Zalando, together we can drive a more consistent approach in our efforts towards reducing the emissions of luxury and fashion.”
The initiative, which is antitrust-compliant and run in collaboration with environmental sustainability consultancy Quantis, will be launched as a pilot with selected brand partners in Autumn 2022. In 2023, it will become available to all eligible brand partners. Looking forward, the three online retailers see potential for the platform to become an industry-wide initiative open to all interested fashion brands and retailers committed to ambitious climate action and creating a more sustainable future for fashion.