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YNAP, Zalando and About You collaborate on a climate action initiative

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

20 Jul 2022

Business

Image: Yoox Net-A-Porter, Zalando and About You

Three of Europe’s largest online retailers Yoox Net-A-Porter, Zalando and About You are collaborating on a one-of-a-kind climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions within their value chains and across the fashion industry.

The unique industry collaboration will see the three retailers launching a bespoke online learning platform that will support their brand partners to set climate targets aligned with science, to reduce the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The platform will be fully funded by Yoox Net-A-Porter, Zalando and About You and a pilot will be available to selected brand partners at no cost from September before rolling out to all eligible brands in 2023.

The programme, which is antitrust-compliant, will be run in collaboration with Quantis, a leading environmental sustainability consultancy with climate expertise. It will provide brand partners with step-by-step learning on how to measure emissions, set ambitious targets that align with climate science, and submit them for approval to the Science Based Targets initiative. It will also provide a dedicated space for fashion brands to engage with one another and with sustainability experts.

Geoffroy Lefebvre, chief executive at Yoox Net-A-Porter, said in a statement: “Our commitment to climate action can only be realised through innovative partnership. This next step prioritises investing in brand partners at different stages in their climate journeys, supporting them to set their science-based targets.

“By collaborating with About You and Zalando, together we can drive a more consistent approach in our efforts towards reducing the emissions of luxury and fashion.”

Zalando, YNAP, and About You looking to reduce carbon emissions with a new climate action learning platform

The initiative forms a critical part of the three retailers’ own respective climate journeys, with each having already set ambitious reduction targets themselves through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). However, Zalando, YNAP, and About You all recognise that between 70 to 90 percent of the fashion footprint comes from upstream supply chain activities, such as material production, preparation, and processing.

It is hoped that this initiative will help to scale climate action across the industry for a broader impact and systems transformation, while also contributing to reducing the three online retailers’ own value chain (Scope 3) emissions.

David Schneider, co-chief executive at Zalando, said: “Decarbonising supply chains in partnership with suppliers, brands, logistics, packaging partners and now also our competitors is a powerful lever for driving meaningful change in the fashion industry.

“We aim for 90 percent of our partners (by emissions) to set science-based targets by 2025, and the new learning platform is a key initiative towards realising this ambitious goal.”

Hannes Wiese, co-founder and co-chief executive at About You, added: “We see an industry-changing momentum in aligning greenhouse gas emission reduction pathways with science. More than 1,500 companies had their targets approved by the SBTi as of July 2022.

“We have set science-based targets approved by the SBTi and are benefitting from our efforts now. 46.6 percent of our partners on greenhouse gas emissions had their targets approved by February 2022. We invite the remaining business partners to do the same.”

The pilot is expected to launch in September, with a full rollout to all eligible brand partners in 2023. Yoox Net-A-Porter, Zalando and About You also added that it hopes that the platform will become an industry-wide initiative open to all interested fashion brands and retailers “committed to ambitious climate action and creating a more sustainable future for fashion”.

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