On October 24-25, the "2023 Global Textile Carbon Neutral Summit" was held in grand fashion at the Chenfeng Fashion and Creative Industry Park in Kunshan, China. During the event, the world's first global textile industry carbon footprint disclosure platform, known as the "International Carbon Disclosure Platform for Textile and Apparel," was launched. Additionally, the "International Textile and Apparel Green Trade Initiative" was initiated. Huang Yanxiang, CEO of Carbon Balance Technology, delivered an engaging speech with the theme "Seizing New Growth Opportunities for Textile Companies in the Era of Dual Carbon Goals." He also shared practical examples from the "International Carbon Disclosure Platform for Textile and Apparel," which garnered significant attention and praise from the audience at the platform's on-site exhibition.
The summit began with an opening speech by Deputy Director Li Shuo from the Ministry of Commerce's Department of Foreign Trade. Li Hui, a member of the Kunshan City Committee and Secretary of the Party Working Committee, as well as the Director of the Management Committee of the Huaqiao Economic Development Zone, delivered a welcoming address. Zhang Xian, Vice President of the China Textile Import and Export Association, gave a keynote speech. Zhang Xian emphasized that actively engaging in carbon reduction efforts is not a passive choice for textile and apparel companies in the international market; it's a crucial component in building the core competitiveness of the industry amid fierce market competition. It also represents a weighty responsibility to uphold the principles of environmental conservation, benefit future generations, and steadfastly pursue high-quality development.
Deputy Director Li Shuo of the Ministry of Commerce's Foreign Trade Department delivered the opening address.
Li Hui, Member of the Kunshan Municipal Committee, Secretary of the Party Working Committee, and Director of the Administrative Committee of the Kunshan Economic Development Zone, delivered a welcoming address
Vice President Zhang Xian of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles delivers the keynote address.
The "International Carbon Disclosure Platform for Textile and Apparel" held its unveiling ceremony during the event. Deputy Director of the Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Division, Li Shuo, Kunshan Municipal Committee Member, Li Hui, Deputy Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Huaqiao Economic Development Zone, Xiao Jianming, leading companies in the textile industry, and over 200 representatives from brands and suppliers were present to witness the official launch of the platform.
Platform Launch Ceremony
In addition, during the unveiling ceremony, the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles, together with 18 leading enterprises in the textile and apparel foreign trade sector, launched the "International Green Trade Initiative for Textiles and Apparel." This initiative aims to call upon the entire industry to embrace the principles of sustainable development, collectively advance global green textile and apparel practices, enhance carbon footprint disclosure, increase supply chain transparency, integrate into the new global trade order, actively engage in information disclosure, establish a solid foundation for the industry's green development, leverage industry platforms to drive collaborative innovation in the supply chain, and foster a vibrant international cooperation platform for the sustainable development of the textile and apparel sector.
Prominent industry leaders, including Xunxiao Group, Peace Bird, Deloitte, Shenzhou International, SGS, CarbonNewture, ChenfengGroup, Dalian Longsheng, Centric Brands, Indochine, PwC, Global Fashion Group, Shanghai Jintang, Rieter, Cathay Biotech, Weixing international, Li & Fung limited, Waste2wear, and other major brands, as well as leading suppliers in clothing, fabrics, accessories, materials, and processes, along with renowned design and consulting firms, gathered to share valuable insights from various perspectives. They discussed topics such as carbon reduction in the supply chain, goals and challenges, sustainable fashion, carbon-neutral products, carbon tariffs, energy-efficient emission reduction solutions, sustainable design, recycling, clean energy, and green low-carbon transformation.
The theme of the conference was "Low Carbon Development for Textile Enterprises in the Era of Dual Carbon Targets: Seizing New Growth Opportunities." Huang Yanxiang, the CEO of CarbonNewture, began by introducing the current global and domestic context of low-carbon transformation. Under China's "dual carbon" goals and international green trade regulations, green and low-carbon transformation has become a global consensus. Faced with both internal and external pressures, the Chinese textile and apparel industry should seize the opportunity for transformation, strengthen practical cooperation in the supply chain, and commit to building a more environmentally friendly and sustainable industrial value chain.
Huang Yanxiang stated that product carbon footprint certification holds profound significance for the sustainable development of businesses.
As the "world's factory" in the global textile and apparel industry, China is also exerting a profound influence on the development of the global green supply chain. International green trade regulations, such as the "Sustainable and Circular Textile Strategy," are becoming increasingly stringent, and carbon footprint certification is set to become a prerequisite for Chinese textile products to enter international markets. Renowned brands like Adidas, Nike, and Bananain have already initiated carbon footprint initiatives, and material suppliers like Lanjing, UPW, and Sidelie are actively engaged in carbon reduction efforts.
For companies aiming to enter the European and American markets, obtaining carbon footprint certification for their export products can act as a "digital passport," alleviating green trade barriers and boosting international business orders.
By obtaining product carbon footprint certification and associated carbon labels, companies not only align with national green consumption policies but also increase their chances of being included in government green procurement lists.
Product carbon footprint certification is an essential step for companies to assess their own carbon emissions and demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility. Incorporating carbon footprint considerations into their long-term strategies not only enhances their reputation and strengthens their brand image but also provides a competitive edge against similar uncertified products in the market.
During the product carbon footprint certification process, identifying energy-intensive and high-carbon production stages can help companies implement targeted and feasible emission reduction measures, ultimately achieving cost savings and improved efficiency.
Huang Yanxiang emphasized that carbon footprint certification of products is crucial for reducing carbon emissions in the value chain. Conducting product carbon footprint certification allows for a clear understanding of the carbon emissions throughout the product's entire lifecycle, thereby facilitating carbon tracking within the company's supply chain.
While the public often focuses on carbon emissions at the level of clothing manufacturing, distributors, or brand owners, typically involving Scope 1 direct emissions from sources like fuel use or Scope 2 indirect emissions from purchased electricity and heat, the reality, as illustrated in the chart above, is that a significant portion of the carbon footprint of a functional unit product (such as a cotton T-shirt) originates from upstream production processes, spanning from cotton cultivation to ginning, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and so forth. Therefore, reducing carbon emissions in the textile and apparel industry value chain requires collaboration with both upstream and downstream businesses and, at a more fundamental level, necessitates carbon footprint accounting.
Finally, Huang Yanxiang shared about the "International Carbon Disclosure Platform for Textile and Apparel ," launched in collaboration with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (for more disclosure information, please click here). To complement the summit, the platform set up an exhibition booth on-site, featuring a vibrant display and fostering enthusiastic business networking, making it a major highlight of the summit.
CarbonNewture CEO Yanxiang Huang demonstrated to Deputy Director Li Shuo from the Ministry of Commerce how to access the "platform" using a mobile device.
The future is here. As the world's largest textile and clothing producer and exporter, the Chinese textile and clothing industry carries a dual mission of providing textile products to global consumers and achieving the dual carbon goals. The entire industry will actively embrace the concept of green development, implement green growth models, foster collaboration among stakeholders along the supply chain, markets, and suppliers, and work towards sustainable and high-quality development in the textile and clothing sector.