Global fashion e-retailer SHEIN announced today a series of new climate commitments, aimed at reducing its absolute value chain emissions by 25% by 2030. The company also unveiled new partnerships aimed at addressing supply chain emissions through increasing suppliers’ energy efficiency and supporting their transition to renewable energy.
Shein’s new commitments come as the retailer is looking to bolster its sustainability image, following recent media reports accusing the company of using suppliers that violate labor laws, and following an environmentally harmful business model. Fashion and clothing retailers have come under increasing scrutiny from regulators over their sustainability claims in recent months, including ASOS, Boohoo and George in the UK and H&M and Decathlon in the Netherlands.
In its press release announcing the new targets, the company said that it is “committed to transforming our business and changing the way fashion is produced and consumed,” adding that it is “taking a holistic look at how we can better reduce our impact at every stage of our value chain, including sourcing.”
Similar to most fashion retailers, the vast majority of SHEIN’s climate impact occurs in areas of its value chain outside of the company’s direct control, or “Scope 3” emissions. Following an assessment of its emissions footprint, SHEIN revealed that 99% of its emissions are generated in the supply chain, particularly in sourcing materials, manufacturing, and product distribution.
SHEIN said that it is targeting a 25% reduction in absolute Scope 3 emissions by 2030. Additionally, the company is aiming to reduce Scope 1 operational emissions by 42% and to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) for 100% of electricity used in SHEIN operations to address Scope 2 emissions by 2030.
Adam Whinston, Global Head of ESG at SHEIN, said:
“Today we’re taking a significant step forward, announcing a new set of 2030 goals that will help us accomplish emissions reduction targets for our entire supply chain over the next seven years.”
To address its supply chain emissions, SHEIN announced partnerships with non-profit organization Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), and and renewable power platform Brookfield Renewable Partners. SHEIN will contribute $7.6 million to Aii’s Carbon Leadership and Clean by Design programs, which focus on carbon benchmarking, assessment, and goal-setting, and helping textile production facilities reduce energy, water, and chemistry use, respectively. Brookfield will help transition SHEIN’s supply chain partners to renewable energy.
Brookfield Renewable Power Asia Pacific Managing Director Daniel Cheng said:
“Along with Brookfield Growth, the technology investing arm of Brookfield and an existing investor of SHEIN, we are pleased to extend our relationship with the company and support SHEIN’s newly announced decarbonization commitments. We look forward to applying our renewable and energy transition expertise to help bring those objectives to bear. The opportunity to decarbonize the fashion industry is immense.”
“Our partnerships with Brookfield and Aii further demonstrate our commitment to implementing long-term initiatives to empower suppliers and work to promote sustainable innovation focusing on reducing carbon emissions. This announcement further solidifies our commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility initiatives at a company level.”