In addition to expansive supply chains, companies in this industry also operate global networks of offices, retail locations, and support facilities. As such, the industry has a significant environmental footprint, largely derived from the energy required to produce and deliver consumer goods. To address this impact, some of the largest companies have formed multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Eco Index. These collaborations often leverage and combine companies’ unique strengths to raise industry standards. Leading companies are also incorporating sustainable materials such as organic cotton and artificial recycled fibers into their products. Despite these advancements, disclosure within the industry is relatively poor, with only one third of companies releasing CSR reports that follow best practices. Additionally, the industry should do more to engage with its suppliers and develop programs to address their unique environmental impacts.
Key Industry Impacts
• Water use, greenhouse-gas emissions, and general-waste generation and disposal together account for more than 87 percent of the total environmental footprint of Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods companies.
Critical Issue Profile: Eco-design
To minimize their considerable environmental impact, some companies have started revisiting their design process. By focusing on materials and processes from the design stage through to end-of-life, companies are able to mitigate adverse environmental impacts, including waste, energy and water usage, and chemical inputs. Furthermore, this allows a company to reduce operational costs, stabilize access to raw materials and appeal to an increasing base of consumers willing to pay a premium for sustainable products. Too often, eco-design principles are applied to ad hoc, niche sustainability products. Yet leading companies such as Nike are now broadly applying sustainable-design criteria across an array of brands and products.
Industry Ranking: How U.S. Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods Companies Stack Up
|Industry Rank||Company||Overall Rank||Industry Sector||Impact||Management||Disclosure||Green Score||2011 Green Score||1||Gap||125||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||65.6||60.0||35.0||60.0||59.0||2||Hanesbrands||141||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||52.8||67.0||50.0||58.9||56.3||3||Nike||175||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||48.6||71.6||29.2||57.0||51.5||4||Tiffany||188||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||66.1||49.3||43.8||56.3||50.7||5||Limited Brands||199||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||66.3||50.8||30.3||55.7||56.0||6||TJX||260||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||65.2||43.4||35.9||52.5||50.5||7||Abercrombie & Fitch||287||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||66.6||40.6||31.5||51.4||48.9||8||Fossil||303||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||72.2||39.4||0.0||50.2||N/A||9||Ralph Lauren||329||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||68.1||40.9||0.0||49.1||49.8||10||Ross Stores||376||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||65.6||38.0||0.0||46.6||46.3||11||American Eagle Outfitters||378||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||65.6||37.5||0.0||46.4||46.1||12||Foot Locker||390||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||65.6||36.1||0.0||45.8||45.4||13||Urban Outfitters||395||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||64.7||36.0||0.0||45.3||45.0||14||Coach||450||Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods||46.6||43.4||0.0||40.5||38.9|