Climate change action is deeply embedded in BESTSELLER’s sustainability strategy, Fashion FWD. With the overall strategy launch in 2018, BESTSELLER set out to become climate positive and officially committed to setting science-based targets (SBT’s) on greenhouse gas emissions reductions through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
A company’s targets can only be validated if they are in line with the SBTi's science-based criteria, which are based on the latest climate science and the goals of the Paris Agreement. BESTSELLER’s SBTs have now been approved as aligned with a 1.5°C pathway, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
“The Science Based Targets initiative is the major league for climate targets, and when we set our Fashion FWD ambition to ultimately be climate positive, we knew we had to do it right. The size of our company and our ambitions obligate us to act and push for change, which is why we committed to tackling climate change through science already in 2018,” says Anders Holch Povlsen, BESTSELLER’s CEO and owner.
“The targets add to our continuous work of improving the environmental footprint of our products, operations and supply chain – while they are consistent with the latest climate science and align our business with the planetary needs. They amplify that our only way forward is to decouple our use of natural resources from our growth.“
A great task at hand
After a process of data collection and validation, BESTSELLER can finally advance to the next steps and look into reductions for the coming years. Calculations show that BESTSELLER’s total GHG emissions across the full value chain (all scopes) reached approx. 2 million tons CO2e in base year 2018.
Whilst already on its way to reduce emissions in scope 1 and 2 through renewable energy and reduction in energy consumptions, BESTSELLER’s scope 1 and 2 only constitute five percent of the company’s total GHG emissions – exposing the great task at hand for scope 3.
“We now know our goals, but we don’t yet have all the answers for how to reach them. It is very important that we put a lot of focus on the impact created outside our direct scope, hence what our products are made of, how they are produced and how customers are caring for – and prolonging the life of – garments; we must continue to source and innovate more sustainable materials and build circularity into our products, and we must work collaboratively with our supply chain partners to transition to a low carbon economy. Additionally, we’re improving our data management to ensure better data, so we can target our efforts optimally,” says Dorte Rye Olsen, Head of Sustainability, BESTSELLER.
“In businesses we like to measure our performance. Now, with our approved science-based targets, we look forward to also having clear and measurable KPIs to track our climate efforts.”
“We are already accelerating the development of next generation preferred materials and we are investing in improving the way our products are made. Now we need to intensify all our efforts even more and involve all colleagues and partners in our climate strategy,” says Dorte, underlining the importance of including stakeholders:
“Working with sustainability and climate targets starts with people. Our organisation, suppliers, partners, customers and other stakeholders are essential to catalyse change to decarbonise our business and our industry as such.“
Bending the curve
2021 will be the first year BESTSELLER measures progress. Next year, the fashion company will know if it’s on track and where to accelerate changes.
"We congratulate BESTSELLER for setting science-based targets consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. By aligning its goals with a 1.5°C future, BESTSELLER is ensuring it builds resilience firmly into its business model and will be better placed to thrive as the global economy transitions to a zero emissions future," says Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Director, Science Based Targets at CDP, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners.
BESTSELLER’s CEO vocalises that BESTSELLER is keen on doing its part when it comes to climate changes:
“The next decade is key in terms of bending the curve on climate change and staying within the 1.5°C. If not, it will have detrimental effects on the planet and be a threat for humanity,” says Anders Holch Povlsen.
“We take responsibility for our company and everyone involved. But we cannot stand alone. The private business sector has a vital role to play in driving down GHG emissions. In the future, every-one should have to prove carbon neutrality. Prove you’re not subtracting from the natural world. Using science-based targets is one of the ways to demonstrate exactly that.”
Scope 1 and 2 include electricity use, heating and cooling of buildings and use of vehicles owned or controlled by BESTSELLER.
Scope 3 includes raw material, yarn and fabric production, garment manufacturing, transport, packaging, use of sold product and the product’s end-of-life – the extended value chain.