The project team completed an audit of 16 manufacturing facilities and established that their combined CO2 emissions totalled almost half a billion kilogrammes in 2021.

The audit also explored the root causes for the existing situation and identified opportunities to actively mitigate those factors and make significant reductions in the levels of emissions.

What is the Carbon Reduction Project?

EOG points out that the Carbon Reduction Project which was conceived in 2019, is a collaborative outdoor industry programme that is aligned to the climate science recommendations that were set out in the Paris Agreement, namely, to measure emissions, identify hotspots, develop a plan, and take action.

In 2020, an initial pilot group of EOG member brands was convened, and together they developed and defined the project methodology.

The project is following a five-stage process and the partners in the pilot phase worked through these together:

  1. Supplier mapping (carried out internally by the EOG)
  2. Creation of a supplier roadmap through a pre-screening process which identified facilities with the greatest potential
  3. Supplier carbon target setting under the umbrella of the Aii’s Carbon Leadership Program, and working closely with RESET Carbon which undertook the facility liaison, assessment and training role
  4. Supplier implementation with the brands continuing to work collaboratively, supported by the EOG and other relevant stakeholders, to take the mitigation actions set out in their action plans
  5. Supplier reporting, a long-term process wherein brands monitor and track facility progress towards their targets.

Through the pilot group phase, the Carbon Reduction Project established that there is a lot of commonality in the facilities used by the brands involved. It states that of the 345 used in total, 44 were shared and one was used by all of the brands. The greatest source of emissions was coal at 45.7%, followed by purchased electricity (non-renewable) at 27.3%.

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Collaborating for reduction targets

EOG explains that participating brands were not obliged to disclose their internal targets, but gave an indication anyway.

In addition to this, not all brands are officially signed up to Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), however they have “ambitious” emissions reduction targets in alignment with SBTi requirements for the ‘target year’ of 2030.

Based on the work done during the pilot phase, the Carbon Reduction Project now has a clearer understanding of the scale of the challenge ahead, but also the actions that can be implemented to make significant and long-term impacts on emissions.

EOG adds that the brands already involved will continue to work collaboratively, supported by the EOG and other relevant stakeholders. They will also monitor and track facility progress towards their targets and report back to the wider group.

Verity Hardy, sustainability project manager at the EOG, says: “The Carbon Reduction Project pilot group has clearly demonstrated the value of collaboration, both in terms of the data and insights provided collectively, and economies of scale. We know that we have a huge piece of work to do to reduce carbon emissions from manufacturing facilities, but project partners also now have a clear and realistic plan of action. Sustaining and scaling up this level of cooperation will be essential for achieving net-zero and I urge companies to come forward and work with us on this absolutely vital project for the whole industry.”

According to a recent Aii and Fashion for Good report, significant resource is required for the fashion industry, and therefore by association, the outdoor industry, to meet necessary climate targets and be net-zero by 2050.

In line with this, EOG is setting up the Impact Accelerator Fund, a collaborative fund that is dedicated to supporting decarbonisation projects and climate mitigation actions within supply chains related to the outdoor industry.

Recently, EOG introduced the Outdoor Market Intelligence Service (OMIS), an online dashboard designed to share real-time monthly sales data generated by outdoor retailers in the UK.