New benchmark for textiles will improve industry understanding of biodiversity risk, says Planet Tracker

London 3 November 2021: Planet Tracker has welcomed the publication of Textile Exchange’s inaugural Textile Exchange Biodiversity Insights and Benchmark Report 2021 which provides the first global baseline for biodiversity for the apparel and textile industry.

The report, based on 157 participating companies, mostly large-sized brands and retailers, found that Biodiversity is fast becoming a focus area for fashion and textile companies.

The report outlines the creation of the “Biodiversity Benchmark” that can be used by textiles and apparel companies to help track and address their biodiversity risk, compare their performance to their peers, and understand the steps they need to take to become “nature-positive” by 2030.

The benchmark identifies six key areas of focus with specific improvement points.

  1. Business Integration: Ambitious commitments and “biodiversity by default” must be brought to life and clarified through strategy development, internal capacity building, and target setting.
  2. Transparency: Transparency of sourcing regions, eventually at a landscape level, will be key to developing appropriate biodiversity priorities and action. Knowledge of sourcing locations allows for identification of the particular biodiversity threats associated with each production context and allows for direct relationships with producers to improve practices. Mapping against biodiversity hotspots and areas of importance will inform companies of areas to pay attention to during the biodiversity assessment.
  3. Materiality: Specific biodiversity-related approaches to assessing risk are emerging. Assessing biodiversity risk can be a daunting task, so digging deeper into the tools and services biodiversity experts have to offer, alongside dialogues with a broad range of stakeholders, will help propel companies forward in the right direction.
  4. Implementation: Transitioning to biodiversity “positive” practices will take time, commitment, collaboration, and investment. Looking strategically at opportunities to partner and collaborate will help accelerate, replicate, and scale the right biodiversity outcomes and impacts.
  5. Monitoring, Evaluating and Tracking: Formalized (and scientific) monitoring programs will be essential to ensuring the right outcomes for biodiversity can be measured and tracked. Monitoring allows for continuous improvement and adaptive management. Over the longer term, indicators should show positive impacts for biodiversity using methodologies consistent with science and potentially laddering up to local, national, and global biodiversity goals.
  6. Reporting: Public disclosure of biodiversity risk, and regular reporting of actions taken to mitigate risk and respond to opportunity, builds trust and encourages shared learning. The expectation is that companies will increase disclosure as stakeholder expectations grow and as company action increases.

“The Biodiversity Benchmark is an important step forward in helping the textiles and apparel industry to understand and adopt more sustainable practices”, said Catherine Tubb, Senior Investment Analyst at Planet Tracker. “We particularly support the increased focus on traceability and transparency through the whole supply chain (“clear line of sight”), as highlighted in our recent report Threadbare Data, and the importance of embedding biodiversity risk into corporate strategies.

ENDS

ABOUT PLANET TRACKER

Planet Tracker is an award-winning non-profit financial think tank aligning capital markets with planetary boundaries. Created with the vision of a financial system that is fully aligned with a net-zero, resilient, nature positive and just economy well before 2050, Planet Tracker generates break-through analytics that reveal both the role of capital markets in the degradation of our ecosystem and show the opportunities of transitioning to a zero-carbon, nature positive economy.  www.planet-tracker.org

ABOUT TEXTILES TRACKER

Textiles Tracker investigates the impact that financial institutions have in funding publicly listed companies across the Textiles, Apparel & Clothing sector. Fast Fashion has created cheap and abundant clothing globally, but the natural capital cost has been high, with toxic production practices, degradation of natural resources, massive and growing waste as well as labour injustice. By providing information and analysis on these problems, placing a value on them and quantifying the negative impact on profits and investor returns, Textiles Tracker will support and stimulate a transition to greater sustainability in the industry. Textiles Tracker identifies the nodes in the textiles supply chain that are creating the greatest damage, analyses their financial value, provides transparency of ownership and, through owners and investors, pressures for change in industry practices.

Media contact:
Ellie Hyman, Aspectus Group

ellie.hyman@aspectusgroup.com

+44 (0) 7890 072 773

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Planet Tracker is a non-profit financial think tank aligning capital markets with planetary boundaries. It was created in 2018 to investigate the risk of market failure related to environmental limits, focusing on oceans, food & land use and materials such as textiles and plastics.

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