Believing in the ability of brands and retailers to neutralize their carbon impact and leave a positive mark on the planet, last week, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) unveiled a series of ambitious targets for the next two decades. As per a Women’s Wear Daily report, the consortium aims to completely de-carbonize UK retail by 2040 by powering stores and warehouses with net-zero electricity by 2030.
To achieve its goal, the BRC aims to reduce carbon emissions from shops and logistics operations besides encouraging consumers to adopt a low-carbon lifestyle. The consortium’s action plan is being endorsed by around 60 British retailers including Burberry, Asos, All Saints, Marks & Spencer and Boots. Many of these fast-fashion retailers have been criticized for their wasteful practices and ignorance of workers’ well-being.
Rebuilding the industry with greener focus
By 2040, BRC aims to enable each of its UK customers to make purchases both in-stores as well as online, says Helen Dickinson, CEO. She believes, retailers can survive the pandemic-induced economic challenges by rebuilding the industry with a greener focus. Emerging UK brands can also build their businesses around carbon neutral supply chains as consumers are more likely to shop from sustainable and ethical brands, shows a recent survey by PwC.
Sustainable knitwear company, Sheep Inchas been able to achieve a carbon negative status by making biodiversity investments. The company dedicates 5 percent of its revenues to a number of carbon-insetting initiatives in farms impacted by over-use by fashion and agriculture industries. Each of the company’s garments comes with a tag that provides a full account of the item’s carbon impact.
Collaborating with like-minded suppliers
To achieve carbon neutrality, brands need to work with suppliers upholding similar values, says Edzardvan der Wyck, Co-Founder, Sheep, Inc. They need to adopt anew mind-set and weave it into their business’ margin structure, he adds. Sustainable label Dai, upholds the view. The specialist of wardrobe staples has been certified as a B Corporation having scored 97.4 points out of 200 available points.
Aiming for complete carbon neutrality by 2021, Dai has been offsetting carbon on 100 percent of its shipments for the past three years and aims to achieve a carbon negative status by this year-end.