Most of us know that global warming is bad for the planet and that the global fashion industry creates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a lot of waste. For everyone who cares about the natural environment, the focus is on reducing emissions and doing everything we can to limit global temperature rise to less than 1.5֩C above pre-industrial levels.
Here’s what Primark is doing about it.
Primark Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan
For starters, as a big business which produces more than 6 million tonnes of CO2 a year, we’re absolutely focused on tackling this. Our target is to halve carbon emissions by 2030. This is far ahead of the 30% emissions reduction ambition we’re already committed to under the United Nations Fashion Charter for Climate Change (UNFCCC). To achieve this, we need to take a really hard look at our Primark supply chain because that’s where around 85% of our emissions come from.
Increasing Suppliers’ Energy Efficiency
While our supply chain is big and complex, factories located in our top five sourcing countries account for the large majority of carbon emissions. Already we’ve reduced the environmental impact of three of our suppliers’ Chinese mills. Through our engagement with the Clean by Design programme we have worked with these mills to make improvements in energy efficiency which lowered their use of water, energy and chemicals.
We are continuing our work with Clean by Design in China, and we are in the process of setting up additional pilot projects to test energy efficiency measures in Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam. Once we’re satisfied with the results, we’ll roll them out on a much wider scale. We will work with our suppliers and will require them to make their businesses more energy efficient as a condition of doing business with us.
Support to Switch to Renewables
We will also give our suppliers hands-on support to transition away from fossil fuels, towards renewable energy. Once we’ve established what renewable energy sources are available in a particular area, we will help our suppliers phase out on-site fossil fuel usage, and move over to renewable energy through actions such as; buying off the grid where it’s available, engaging in Power Purchase Agreements with private renewable energy providers, or by installing on-site renewable technologies like rooftop solar panels where feasible.
Benefits of More Regenerative Agriculture
We’re collaborating with CottonConnect and our on the ground implementation partners, who will teach farmers about new practices for more regenerative farming. As well as benefitting the environment, the use of more regenerative techniques will also help to reduce the CO2 emissions related to their cotton farming practices.
Primark Energy Management
In 2015, we established an Energy Reduction Group to identify potential energy savings in our stores. To date, we have achieved ISO 50001 certification across stores, offices and distribution centres in some of our established markets, and we are working hard to roll this out across all markets.
There’s always more to do and we want to smash a VERY BIG goal. Because of our size and scale, we know we can make a positive difference to climate change. Which is why we’re tackling our own carbon emissions and working with the industry to bring others along with us.