The second edition of the CEO Agenda presents eight sustainability priorities that every fashion CEO needs to address – because sustainability is no longer just a trend, it’s a business imperative.
Today, 23 January 2019, Global Fashion Agenda releases CEO Agenda 2019 at Davos House during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, with Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark in attendance as Global Fashion Agenda’s patron. Developed in collaboration with leading fashion players ASOS, BESTSELLER, H&M group, Kering, Li & Fung, Nike, PVH Corp., Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Target, CEO Agenda 2019 has been updated to reflect global developments, highlighting climate change as a core priority. Fashion has increasingly been working on issues such as chemicals, circularity and equality but must also further address its impact on climate change. Currently total greenhouse gas emissions from textile production amount to 1.2 billion tonnes annually, according to new research from UNFCCC. This is more than the emissions of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
“Climate change is an unprecedented threat to people and the planet. We only have 11 years to rectify the catastrophic impact we’ve had on our planet or we’ll miss the objective of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius. We know that change is not easy, but overall progress is too slow, and we simply can’t afford to lose another year. The fashion industry is one of the world’s largest and most powerful industries. Therefore, we need to take leadership to secure the future of our industry – and our planet,” explains Eva Kruse, CEO and President of Global Fashion Agenda.
Decision-makers gather in Davos for CEO Agenda 2019 launch
The release event in Davos gathers CEOs from fashion and interconnected industries to discuss how fashion can transition towards being more sustainable, at an accelerated pace. This will require a collaborative effort across the value chain and engaging in a dialogue with external stakeholders, who play an integral role in creating this change.
“The CEO Agenda is the fashion industry’s contribution in Davos shaping the global sustainability agenda. As one of the most resource intensive industries, it is vital that the industry transforms the way fashion is produced, marketed and consumed. I’m proud to be patron of an organisation that calls for industry collaboration, insisting that the only future for the fashion industry is a sustainable one,” states Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark.
Now more than ever, it is clear that fashion companies need to take action to future-proof their businesses. Social and environmental issues such as climate change, microfibre pollution, growing population and automation will affect the future business model of the industry. Projections from the Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 report, co-authored by Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group, state that by investing in sustainability, fashion brands will be able to reduce their social and environmental footprint whilst improving their bottom line, with a potential increase in EBIT margins.
In the past year sustainability has risen on the corporate agenda. The CEO Agenda has become a reference for implementing sustainability measures, guiding corporate strategies, policymaking and investments. While many CEOs are already stepping up their work to address these shifts, half of the industry has yet to take action on sustainability. This will require top-level engagement from fashion brand CEOs, who can lead the transformation of not only their own companies but also the entire industry.
What’s on the agenda?
The CEO Agenda 2019 details eight priorities that should be top of mind for CEOs in fashion right now.
Four core priorities for immediate implementation:
• Supply chain traceability
• Combating climate change
• Efficient use of water, energy and chemicals
• Respectful and secure work environments
Four transformational priorities for fundamental change:
• Sustainable material mix
• Circular fashion system
• Promotion of better wage systems
• Fourth industrial revolution
Read CEO Agenda 2019