The research identified eight sustainable strategies, mapped across the apparel value chain, uncovered more than 60 practices that companies are using to drive change, and designed ways to monetize the financial value delivered by those practices. The eight key strategies include: 1. Reducing chemical impact, 2. Improving water management, 3. Improving energy management, 4. Investing in the reduction of material waste, 5. Implementing sustainable raw material sourcing, 6. Investing in circularity and innovation, 7. Investing in employee and supplier well-being, and 8. Investing in sustainable brand marketing and communications.
In collaboration with apparel companies EILEEN FISHER, Reformation, REI and others, the Center for Sustainable Business team revealed initial highlights from their research:
“As we have seen in recent years, companies continue to see the tremendous value that results from embracing sustainability in their business practices,” said Professor Tensie Whelan, founding director of NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business. “With HSBC’s vital support, we are excited to launch our new framework for the apparel industry – the second-largest sector in terms of supply chain pollution – to improve financial and societal returns. In the near future, we look forward to releasing additional results, particularly focused on companies' efforts to monetize investments in circularity.”
“As COVID-19 continues to batter business, apparel companies are seeking untapped opportunities to strengthen their balance sheets and inspire consumers,” added Sophie Rifkin, director of Corporate Research and Engagement, Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business. “Our framework can play a critical role in unlocking value for both business and society, and we look forward to implementing these sustainable strategies with more apparel brands in the coming months.”
“Consumers are demanding more from today’s brands and the real-world implications of this research are indisputable,” says Kelly Fisher, Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC Bank USA. “By adopting these strategies, our clients in the apparel industry can yield significant benefits for the environment, for society, and for their financial performance.”
For additional information on the framework, please visit the Center’s website.
HSBC Bank USA
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