Summary: Sustainability reporting standards measure a fashion brand’s initiatives against metrics for climate action. Large corporations are already reporting their sustainable practices as part of their adherence to ESG principles. With governments in the US, EU, and UK backing legislative norms, the countdown for global reporting of sustainable practices has begun.
Sustainability reporting standards have been gathering weight ever since fashion brands started adopting carbon-neutral initiatives. These standards measure the impact of a clothing company’s efforts against established metrics for climate action to reveal if their practices are really sustainable or just greenwashing. Different agencies have come up with sustainability standards, which a clothing and apparel brand can incorporate to further its green initiative.
Once you enroll for reporting sustainability standards, your fashion label will have to make its report public. While several fashion brands are increasingly becoming sustainable, not many are reporting these standards. But this is about to change because the US and EU are mulling legislation to make such disclosure mandatory. The UK has already introduced two laws that bind companies to make their sustainability report cards public.
Environmental, Social and Governance or ESG has become a benchmark for measuring corporate accountability. The sustainability reporting standards focus on metrics that outline a clothing company’s role vis-à-vis its environmental impact, social responsibility, and ethical governance. The ESG is a very comprehensive data sheet. It can include a fashion brand’s climate action, including its carbon footprint, fair trade practices, employee health and gender equality, and privacy laws, among others. Each of these segments carries weight in determining a company’s ESG report card.
From shareholders to stakeholders, the journey of corporate management has undergone a sea change. Sustainability reporting standards evaluate a company’s performance against benchmarks for ethical corporate governance. Government-funded institutions and independent agencies that have expertise in assessing climate action incentives and social responsibility against the metrics determine the reporting standards.
Some of the prominent names in this highly skilled knowledge industry are: The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). These are among the top global agencies for reporting standards, with their own environmental disclosure practices.
Their inclusive measures are already part of the metrics for the sustainability reporting standards. Most fashion brands and suppliers committed to sustainability are, therefore, adopting disclosures to improve their brand value.
Sustainability reporting standards are the benchmarks that a responsible and ethical fashion brand must adhere to. Once such standards have been adopted, a clothing and apparel brand has to make its performance report public. This ensures the transparency of the brand and enhances the trust of its stakeholders, including customers. With the UN targeting 2030 as a milestone for sustainable practices and countries like the US and UK backing mandatory sustainability reporting standards, fashion companies have to adopt them sooner rather than later.
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