SAN FRANCISCO — September 19, 2023 — Today, nonprofit organization Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) announced its first deployment of grants from its Climate Solutions Portfolio (CSP). This registry of proven carbon reduction solutions for the fashion industry is based on effectiveness, reach, scale, and cost, and represents the first deployed capital from Aii’s catalytic Fashion Climate Fund. These grants are funded by philanthropic contributions from the Fashion Climate Fund’s lead partners including H&M Foundation, H&M Group, Lululemon, The PVH Foundation, Target and the Schmidt Family Foundation, and will provide $250 million to de-risk and accelerate proven decarbonization solutions and unlock up to $2 billion of capital, with a carbon reduction goal of 100 million metric tons by 2030.
The application was designed by the CSP Advisory Council, which is composed of industry leaders: Kurt Kipka, Aii Chief Impact Officer; Linda Greer, Scientist and Consultant; Phil Patterson, Managing Director at Colour Connections Textile Consultancy; Beth Jensen, Director, Climate+ Impact at Textile Exchange; Crispin Wong, Senior Director of Product Sustainability and Environment at Lululemon; Mallory McConnell, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at PVH Corp.; and Abhishek Bansal, Head of Sustainability at Arvind Mills.
Aii also launched an online platform that will serve as a public, transparent resource for brands, retailers, manufacturers, industry stakeholders, and external commercial financing partners looking to accelerate decarbonization efforts. To be eligible for funding and/or inclusion in the registry, organizations are required to submit high quality, verified data or estimates that demonstrate quantifiable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions around their solutions through Aii’s rigorous, strategically developed intake application.
Climate Solutions Portfolio Grant Recipients
Precision Development’s Leaf Color Charts project uses a low-tech and low-cost methodology to reduce fertilizer application in cotton cultivation, which is the highest emission source in cotton extraction. Farmers compare the leaves of their cotton plants with the colors on the chart and are thereby able to identify the correct amount of fertilizer to apply. The grant funding will be used to deploy these charts in India with training to support their successful use.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Through this project, GIZ will focus on a solar PV installation project in Bangladesh, implementing a comprehensive approach to driving renewable energy adoption in the country’s textile and apparel sector. This will increase factory knowledge, lower development risks, aid implementation, and de-risk renewable energy projects in a market where solar PV installation is currently less mature in its deployment. GIZ anticipates that through the granted project, it will conduct techno-feasibility assessment for 30 facilities over the next three years, help them connect with technical solution providers, and support them in procuring those services to install the Solar PV.
Made2Flow specializes in data gathering and validation through its software across supply chains in the fashion industry for the purpose of environmental impact measurement and reduction. The project aims to add to the functionality of its software the ability to provide automated and customized impact reduction recommendations for the facilities using its software Made2Flow. This will reduce the cost and need for in-person expert visits, thus drastically increasing the ability of energy efficiency to scale in the apparel sector.
BluWin is a high-impact climate solution provider with a mission to contribute to a better world and better quality of life by providing solutions which reduce the adverse effects of the fashion, textile, and footwear industries on our planet and the climate. The organization is taking the Clean by Design framework of best practices that greatly improve facility energy efficiency and rolling it out to Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities in Bangladesh. It will use a direct-to-manufacturer approach by taking proven energy efficiency solutions to new markets. The CbD program has yet to be deployed at scale in Bangladesh, and implementing it using a direct-to-manufacture recruitment approach will develop learnings for how energy efficiency work can scale in Bangladesh and other regions.
PwC will be implementing its Cleaner Production System project across Tier 2 & Tier 3 suppliers in India and Bangladesh. The project will predominantly focus on Tier 3 facilities (standalone or integrated with Tier 2 and Tier 1), in which raw materials are turned into fibers and yarns, as this is a portion of the apparel supply chain that is relatively untapped and thus has a tremendous amount of energy efficiency improvement potential.
The learnings from this project will be used to scale energy efficiency in Tier 3.
Climate Solutions Portfolio (CSP) Software Registry
In tandem with the grantee recipient announcement, Aii has launched the Climate Solutions Portfolio online platform. Developed in response to the industry’s urgent need for standardized data to enhance decision-making and supply chain solutions, the platform will serve as a central hub for brands, retailers, industry stakeholders, and external commercial financing partners looking to accelerate decarbonization efforts. The platform includes a registry of Aii-vetted impact programs and incorporates essential reporting capabilities – such as advanced analytics and ROI insights – with the goal of increasing transparency across the industry to ensure the most successful solutions are identified, funded, and scaled.
The development of the CSP platform was funded by philanthropic contributions from Farfetch, H&M Group, Lululemon, The PVH Foundation, Ralph Lauren, and Target.
“Our aim is to provide a tool for the industry to easily identify credible opportunities for carbon reduction with science-based solutions. This platform will allow for greater industry transparency and provide accurate data and metrics, resulting in funding to support these innovations on a global level,” said Kurt Kipka, Aii chief impact officer. “Beyond connecting solutions to funding, the CSP registry will also provide a mechanism for mature companies to connect with stakeholders, regardless of grant status.”
Next Call for Partners: Data-Driven Roadmaps
While the initial submissions for Climate Solutions Portfolio grants included remarkable innovations, the process also demonstrated a lack of reliable data and industry-wide knowledge in two important solution areas: thermal energy and energy storage. Filling this research gap is essential to further identify and scale decarbonization solutions successfully.
Aii’s ongoing commitment to researching and identifying solutions has continued with a call for partners to develop data-driven roadmaps focused on these key topics. Information gathered through this process will lay the groundwork needed to accelerate the investment in — and deployment of — thermal energy and energy storage solutions.
In the latter half of 2024, Aii will be seeking potential grant recipients that focus largely on thermal energy and energy storage. Additionally, solutions providers outside these areas are encouraged to apply now to be part of the registry to gain industry exposure and ease the process of applying for funding in the future.
Posted: September 19, 2023
Source: Apparel Impact Institute (Aii)