Using tools such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Materials Sustainability Index and Life Cycle Analysis methodologies, VF said it is assessing its materials choices within the three areas of regenerative, responsibly sourced renewable, or recycled sources, to identify the greatest opportunities for environmental impact reduction, and to understand how accelerating against these choices will contribute to achieving its science-based targets. The announcement was made in the Group’s latest iteration of its ‘Made for Change Sustainability & Responsibility report’, whose release coincides with the COP25 (2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) taking place in Madrid.

It includes industry-leading science-based targets (SBTs) and a “bold vision” for sustainable materials. The strategy focuses on three areas; Circular Business Models, the commercialisation of circular business models to reduce VF’s environmental impact while creating new growth opportunities; Scale for Good, leveraging VF’s global scale and influence to drive impact reduction across the business and broader industry; and Movement Makers, enabling VF and its brands to serve as a catalyst for powering movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and the planet.

In its new emissions targets, VF commits to reduce its Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by 55% by 2030, against a 2017 baseline, and to cut Scope 3 (indirect) emissions by 30% within the same timeframe. The Group says it will focus its efforts on three large sources of emissions; materials, sourcing operations and logistics; areas identified through a two-year collaboration with the Carbon Trust, which analysed and modelled data from 1,400 owned factories, 100 suppliers and all of VF Corporation’s distribution centres and global logistics partners.

In terms of materials, the Timberland and The North Face brands are said to be both working to incorporate regenerative natural materials, such as wool and leather, into their products. The North Face is already retailing products containing “net-positive” wool, while Timberland’s first lines incorporating “regenerative” leather are to be sold in stores in 2020.