How do you guarantee the long-term effect it will have?
– A single energy efficient stove in use is avoiding emissions by about 2,4 tonnes of CO2-equivalents every year. For the benefit to be sustained over time, it is important to make sure the stoves are actually used. That is why training how to use and maintain the stoves properly is a crucial part of this project. The stoves are built by local craftsmen who can repair them if need be. From the monitoring reports that show us how much the stoves are used, we can conclude that this project is highly successful.
How can A Day’s March make sure they are offsetting the emissions of their entire activity?
– Together with sustainability consultants from our partner agency U&We we have done a thorough calculation of the emissions generated by A Day’s March. We have been working closely with A Day’s March, analyzing everything from the raw materials in the garments and their production and transports, to the electricity in their stores and headquarters. The calculations also include the climate impact from their customers washing and drying the clothes, as well as the impact when the garments are finally recycled or disposed of down the line. When specific data was not available, generic data from the literature was used to estimate activities in the value chain.
The calculations provide A Day’s March with valuable information to determine where and how emissions should be reduced, as well as determining the amount of emissions that are to be compensated for. As of 2020, A Day’s March will annually offset every tonne of greenhouse gases that has occurred in the entire value chain during the previous year. The calculations also apply an uncertainty margin of the carbon footprint to make sure that the emissions aren’t underestimated.
What do you think should be the next step for A Day’s March and the textile industry as a whole, when it comes to actively reducing their climate and environmental impact?
– We know the biggest climate impact of the textile industry comes from acquiring the raw materials and the actual production. The first step is to find out what that impact is. Today it is really hard to gather all the info needed about the entire value chain. It is the biggest challenge but also the greatest potential.
The textile industry needs to make demands on their suppliers, or even better help them, in order to be able to trace, calculate and minimize their impact. Significant impact reduction can for example be achieved by switching to renewable electricity in production facilities and making sure that transports of materials and garments are as energy efficient as possible.
Besides that, the industry really needs to move away from the “fast fashion” business model. Encourage slow and long-term consumption. Communicate how to take proper care of garments to make them last longer. Begin the transition towards a circular economy where nothing is thrown away – since there really is no “away” – but recycled and reused.
Words by Sustainability Specialist Sofia Bernett