Press Release

New Reports Aim to Help Fashion Industry Lower Its Carbon Footprint

Two reports commissioned by the UNFCCC’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action and prepared by SCS Global Services now online to support industry decarbonization


SCS Global Services (SCS), a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, and life cycle assessment, announced that two reports it completed on behalf of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (FICCA) convened by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are now publicly available. The first report, “Identifying Low Carbon Sources of Sheep Wool, Hair, Alpaca Fiber and Silk Fiber,” provides guidance to the textile and apparel industries for lowering the carbon footprint when sourcing animal-based fibers. The second report, “Identifying Low Carbon Sources of Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres (MMCF),” examined 14 separate LCA studies, and summarized the current best conclusions for low carbon sources of MMCF.

Both reports were undertaken by FICCA, with SCS acting as the neutral technical lead. FICCA is developing a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from raw material extraction, production, and processing, which together can be the most carbon-intensive part of the fashion value chain. These reports add to earlier work to study cotton and polyester. The goal is to enable FICCA signatories to identify actions to reduce their GHG emissions in line with the 1.5-degree Celsius global target. 

The report on animal fibers showed that, for virgin wool and hair, methane from enteric fermentation is   the most significant contributor to climate impact. For silk production, the highest impact was the production of the leaves to feed the silkworms. For recycled wool, the results showed high variability in impact levels based on factors such as raw material sourcing, transportation requirements, and energy and material demand from shredding and fiber production. 

The MMCF report concluded that the GHG profile of MMCF is heavily influenced by the type and location of the feedstock. The sources with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions were, in order: 1) Lyocell from low-carbon wood pulp or optimized recycled pulp; 2) Viscose from low-carbon wood pulp or optimized recycled pulp; and 3) Modal from low-carbon wood pulp or optimized recycled pulp. 

Keith Killpack, Technical Director in SCS’s Environmental Claims division and project lead, said, “This important work being undertaken by FICCA and the Textile Exchange is bringing needed transparency and clarity to the goal of decarbonizing the fashion industry supply chain. The reports highlight key considerations for current fiber sourcing and recommendations for continuing textile LCAs, and helped illuminate data gaps to be addressed in continuing studies.”

“As the fashion, apparel, and textile industry seeks to improve its understanding of how to use impact data to make informed sourcing decisions toward achievement of decarbonization goals, these reports serve as a neutral, centralized reference point on the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact data that currently exists for these material categories, along with the data gaps and opportunities,” stated Beth Jensen, Climate+Impact Director for Textile Exchange. “We thank SCS for bringing their expertise to the development of these important industry resources, along with FICCA for its support of this work.” 

About SCS Global Services 
SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in climate mitigation, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, consumer products, and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to companies, agencies, and advocacy organizations due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information, visit

About the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action 
The Fashion Charter was set up with the support of UN Climate Change in 2018 to provide a pathway for the industry to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5C. Other commitments in the Charter include sourcing 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, sourcing of environmentally friendly raw materials, and phasing out coal from the supply chain by 2030.

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Stephanie Flynn

Stephanie Flynn

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