You may have noticed a lot of big climate-related announcements in the last year or so. Many large organizations are making net-zero emissions commitments to prioritize climate action in their operations. This includes tech companies, auto manufacturers, logistics providers and even local governments – all taking a stand to create a positive impact on how they affect the world around them.
As a leader in promotional apparel, SanMar recognizes our role in helping to set the tone for the promotional products industry, so we have begun the work of making a climate commitment of our own. As you might expect, this doesn’t mean we can pull a number out of thin air. This means making a thoughtful and meaningful decision to reduce our carbon emissions based on science.
The commitment we make will provide clear direction on our journey toward sustainability. This is why we’re doing our homework before taking our first steps and working with the Science-Based Targets initiative.
Setting science-based targets is a deliberate five-step process of creating and communicating meaningful goals to reduce carbon emissions. The five steps are:
Commit: Submit a letter establishing your intent to set a science-based target
Develop: Work on setting an emissions reduction target
Submit: Present a target for validation
Communicate: Announce your target and share with stakeholders
Disclose: Report on emissions and progress toward the target annually
SanMar is on the first step of this process and has formally committed to set a science-based target. From here we will begin to develop our target and start the work of reducing our emissions.
Guidance that applies generally to apparel and textile companies tells us that most of our emissions are generated in the supply chain, from the materials we use to the factories where we make our products. This general rule reveals opportunities to work with our supply chain partners to make processes more efficient and lower the carbon footprint of their facilities, work that is already underway by our partner in Honduras.
We’re also engaging closely with the apparel we sell today to understand where it comes from and promote the pieces that make the best use of materials. One result of this is our upcoming Sustainable Brand Book which features some of the apparel we sell today to the sustainability-minded customer. It includes products from The North Face, Allmade and Cotopaxi, as well as our very own District Re-Tee and Re-Fleece. We’ll be adding to this selection as we develop more sustainable apparel in the future.
This is, however, just the beginning. We’re committed to the process. We have plenty to learn about where we go from here and plenty of work to do. We’ll be updating you along the way so you can see what the process looks like.
SanMar’s climate commitment will be an important milestone, as we join the many other organizations working toward a future of net-zero emissions. We’re incredibly excited to be setting out on this next leg of our sustainability journey, and we hope you’ll join us for what’s sure to be an interesting ride.