The funding is to coordinate a project to boost industry-wide convergence around both environmental and social and labour assessment, and towards accelerating social and environmental supply chain due diligence. Suppliers targeted will be selected global value chains, brands and retailers as well as workers at supplier factories.  

SAC received the funding after submitting a project in partnership with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), The Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP) and Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), Implementation Hub to create standardised open assessment frameworks and data sharing models. It sees the project as an opportunity to further its work with its Apparel Alliance partners.

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The Initiative for Global Solidarity (IGS) is a programme implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. IGS addresses purchasing and producing companies to collaborate as partners, share responsibility for compliance with human rights and environmental due diligence, and gain greater awareness of these issues.

Andrew Martin, vice president membership and stakeholder engagement at SAC, says the organisation sees the funding as an opportunity to move the needle further, making even bigger strides towards achieving industry-wide collaboration and transformation.

“As an organisation united by a shared vision to move the consumer goods industry into one that gives more than it takes- to the people and the planet, we see this project as an opportunity to further our efforts and drive real and positive change by creating synergies with our partners and aligning around sustainability goals, tools, and programs that will help us to achieve these goals,” he adds.  

Kurt Kipka, vice president at Apparel Impact Institute, notes: “Together, we will provide an efficient ecosystem for engagement amongst ourselves and other leading organizations which will accelerate the industry on its path to achieving shared environmental goals. At Aii, we recognize this as a unique opportunity to create meaningful change and we look forward to getting started.”

Meanwhile, Frank Michel, executive director, ZDHC, says with the help of its Implementation Hub team, ZDHC looks forward to seeing the successful rollout of the project, and subsequent impact on the people and planet at large.

The project aims to create and expand the use of open data standards for social and environmental performance. SAC states that the project will have the potential to make a significant impact towards transparency and greater sustainability in the textile and garment industry and beyond, and as a result, a crucial success factor for the project will be the widest possible adoption of the data standards among producers, auditors, sustainability organisations, and brands. 

The project will employ three key principles that will inform the work: 

  • Active stakeholder engagement 
  • Openness and transparency 
  • A focus on improvement 

Two sub-projects will focus on human and labour rights and environmental impacts respectively. The first sub-project will be implemented by the SLCP with the expected output of seeing further convergence of the Converged Assessment Framework (CAF) and its pilot in a second industry. 

SAC recently urged cross-industry collaboration to meet United Nations climate targets