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The BoF Sustainability Index 2022

BoF’s annual benchmark of fashion’s progress towards crucial sustainability goals — in-depth performance assessments of the industry’s 30 biggest companies and key insights for the year ahead.

The findings of The BoF Sustainability Index 2022 are stark. Fashion’s largest companies across luxury, high street and sportswear have yet to gain sufficient momentum with their sustainability policies and practices to transform the industry by 2030.

The 2022 assessment spans across six impact categories: Emissions, Transparency, Water & Chemicals, Materials, Workers’ Rights and Waste. Results encompass over 9,000 data points, gathered across ~200 proprietary metrics applied to the 30 companies, enabling a like-for-like benchmarking of brands’ sustainability efforts — the most extensive assessment of its kind and the outcome of 1,000+ hours of research.

The Index is an essential tool for executives looking to benchmark and catalyse their company’s sustainability journey  — and for investors and advisors looking to evaluate progress. Purchase your copy of the report to reveal the sustainability status of the fashion industry's largest players and to better understand the change the industry needs.

Publication Date: May 2022
Length: 128 pages
File Format: PDF, Excel (add-on)

As an add-on to the report, BoF Insights is offering the Index’s underlying data as a downloadable excel file, comprising over 9,000 binary scores across the 30 companies. This add-on is for companies looking to benchmark their own sustainability journey and for anyone wanting a more detailed look at the performance of the 30 companies. Please select the “Report + Raw Data” purchase option to receive both the report and the underlying data.

Purchase Options

Table of Contents

  • The objective of the annual BoF Sustainability Index
    • 2030 deadline for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
    • Using public disclosures to evaluate fashion’s biggest public companies
  • Key statistics
    • Overall score across fashion’s 30 biggest public companies
    • Performance differences between the original cohort assessed in the 2021 Index and the new additions to the 2022 Index
    • Leaders and laggards, including a note of companies that saw the largest year-on-year improvement
  • Evaluation of the current pace of progress
  • Overall performance across six impact categories
    • Emissions
    • Transparency
    • Water & Chemicals
    • Materials
    • Workers’ Rights
    • Waste
  • Ranking of companies’ performance across six impact categories
  • Evaluation of Index companies by market segment
    • Luxury
    • High Street 
    • Sportswear
  • Key themes that will define the topic of sustainability in fashion going forward
    • Regulation Required
    • Beyond Greenwashing
    • Purchasing Practices in Focus
    • Tackling Traceability
    • The Finance Gap
  • Overview of Index design and process
  • Breakdown of 16 targets across six impact categories
  • The external BoF Sustainability Council
  • The key challenges for the fashion industry across the six impact categories
  • Ranking of all 30 companies’ performance across the six impact categories
  • Relationship between company revenues and Index score
  • Key statistics
  • Ranking of how the original cohort of 15 companies performed across the six impact categories
  • Evaluation of the current pace of progress
  • Ranking of how the 15 new additions to the Index performed across the six impact categories
  • Emissions
    • Overall category performance
    • Performance in original cohort versus new additions
    • Company performance by market segment
  • Transparency
    • Overall category performance
    • Performance in original cohort versus new additions
    • Company performance by market segment
  • Water & Chemicals
    • Overall category performance
    • Performance in original cohort versus new additions
    • Company performance by market segment
  • Materials
    • Overall category performance
    • Performance in original cohort versus new additions
    • Company performance by market segment
  • Workers’ Rights
    • Overall category performance
    • Performance in original cohort versus new additions
    • Company performance by market segment
  • Waste
    • Overall category performance
    • Performance in original cohort versus new additions
    • Company performance by market segment
  • Luxury Market Segment
    • Burberry Group
    • Capri Holdings
    • Hermès
    • Kering
    • LVMH
    • Prada Group
    • PVH Corp.
    • Ralph Lauren Corp.
    • Richemont
    • Tapestry
  • High Street Market Segment
    • Abercrombie & Fitch C.
    • American Eagle Outfitters
    • Fast Retailing
    • Gap Inc.
    • HLA Group Corp.
    • H&M Group
    • Inditex
    • Levi Strauss & Co.
    • Next Plc.
    • Urban Outfitters Inc. 
  • Sportswear Market Segment
    • Adidas
    • Anta Sports
    • Asics
    • Fila Holdings Corp.
    • Lululemon Athletica
    • Nike Inc.
    • Puma
    • Skechers USA
    • Under Armour
    • VF Corp.
  • Methodology
  • 2022 Index metrics
  • Sustainability Council member biographies
  • Additional Index analysis
  • Glossary

Why Buy this Report

  • Presents BoF Insights’ outlook on the key changes required for the industry to achieve climate goals and implement responsible business practices by 2030
  • Analyses the sustainability efforts of 30 of fashion’s biggest players across six impact categories: Emissions, Transparency, Water & Chemicals, Materials, Workers’ Rights and Waste
  • Outlines gold-standard sustainability targets that every fashion brand should be working towards, established in consultation with an external sustainability council of 12 respected global experts
  • Provides the complete assessment criteria comprising ~200 metrics that allows brands to analyse their own sustainability performance 
  • Report + Raw Data Package: Offers the assessment’s underlying binary scores, comprising ~9,000 data points collected across the study’s ~200 metrics and 30 assessed companies, the outcome of 1,000+ hours of analysis of public disclosures and company validation. This is an essential tool for companies looking to benchmark and catalyse their own sustainability journey. 

Research Inputs

  • Public disclosure for the 30 largest publicly-traded companies by annual revenue in 2020 across three distinct fashion industry verticals — luxury, high street and sportswear
  • A proprietary methodology assessing company performance across six impact categories: Emissions, Transparency, Water & Chemicals, Materials, Workers’ Rights and Waste. In aggregate, the categories comprise 16 ambitious environmental and social targets established by The Business of Fashion in consultation with a group of respected global experts. Each of the targets contains a series of binary metrics (201 in total) that were scored “yes” or “no” based on publicly available information that was published on or before December 31, 2021
  • The companies assessed in The BoF Sustainability Index 2022 are: Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Anta Sports, Asics, Burberry Group, Capri Holdings, Fast Retailing, Fila Holdings Corp., Gap Inc., H&M Group, Hermès, HLA Group Corp., Inditex, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co., Lululemon Athletica, LVMH, Next PLC, Nike Inc., Prada Group, Puma, PVH Corp., Ralph Lauren Corp., Richemont, Skechers USA, Tapestry, Under Armour, Urban Outfitters Inc. and VF Corp.

FAQs

An overview of The BoF Sustainability Index 2022 key findings is available for free on BoF’s website to registered readers. 

For full access to in-depth analysis at both the company and industry levels and a deeper exploration of critical themes impacting sustainability in fashion, the BoF Insights report is available to purchase at shop.businessoffashion.com. Purchasing the entire report is the best way to support BoF Insights’ ongoing research on sustainability. Researching and compiling this year’s Index ran from October 2021 through May 2022, requiring over a thousand hours of work. Our aim is to continue this research and analysis on an annual basis.

The raw data is available as an add-on to purchase alongside the BoF Insights report.

Our plan is to continue to report on an annual cadence.

The 30 companies assessed in the Index represent the largest publicly listed companies in the world as measured by annual revenue in 2020, comprising 10 companies in three verticals: luxury, high street and sportswear.

To enable fair benchmarking, we decided to focus only on publicly listed companies, which generally have more information available externally about their performance and operations than private companies. Our research was based entirely on publicly disclosed information.

As with other industries, transparency is a critical component in helping the fashion industry improve its environmental and social impact. Public disclosures go hand in hand with transparency, and thus accountability.

The 30 companies assessed in The BoF Sustainability Index 2022 represent combined 2020 revenues of $338 billion. We consider this sample size to be broad enough to provide a representation of performance of the largest industry players globally. The number of companies assessed in this year’s Index is double that of the first edition, which was published in 2021. 

We did not include companies that primarily operate as retailers, such as department stores or e-commerce platforms. We focused on companies that own brands with a direct link to apparel and footwear manufacturing and supply chains.
The Index assesses companies at the corporate level. In most cases, companies must demonstrate they are implementing policies and practices across all brands and subsidiaries to meet the criteria in the Index. However, there are exceptions. For example, where the methodology seeks to capture incremental stages of progress, a company may meet the assessment criteria even if only one of its brands or divisions qualifies. Similarly, where a single brand accounts for 80 percent or more of a holding company’s business, demonstrating action within that division is considered sufficient by BoF Insights to meet the requirements of the assessment in several instances.
The Index is based on information that was publicly available on or prior to Dec. 31, 2021. Where public information was not available or was incomplete, companies were not considered to have demonstrated the performance in question. This approach reflects the foundational importance of transparency in establishing sustainable business practices and ensuring accountability.

The findings are based on independent analysis conducted by a team of BoF researchers, who assessed each company’s performance against more than 200 binary metrics.

BoF sent the preliminary results to each of the 30 companies as part of a rigorous fact-checking process and incorporated feedback where appropriate.

BoF accepts advertising from a range of partners, some of which may appear in The BoF Sustainability Index. Such advertising arrangements and the Index are handled by separate teams within BoF in order to ensure that BoF’s continued commitment to editorial integrity and independence is maintained, and any advertising arrangements between BoF and a partner have no impact on the methodology or outcome of the Index.

In addition, LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion. All investors have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing BoF’s complete editorial independence.

The analysis is based on publicly available information published on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

2030 is the deadline to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and a critical milestone in efforts to forestall a climate crisis. The intent of the Index is to track progress in transforming the fashion industry ahead of this milestone. 

The Index assesses companies’ progress towards a series of ambitious targets established by BoF in consultation with a council of experts. The targets span six separate impact categories: Emissions, Transparency, Water & Chemicals, Materials, Workers’ Rights and Waste. 

To quantifiably and objectively measure performance, we broke down each target into a series of metrics, questions with binary “yes” or “no” answers. Each series begins at a basic level, progressing through to granular questions that explore the implementation of best-in-class policies and practices. Together, they are intended to represent a comprehensive pathway to achieve each target. Companies receive a point wherever they provide enough public information to indicate they meet the criteria to satisfy a given metric. 

A company’s score for a category represents the proportion of metrics within each category’s series of targets where the company scored a point.


 

The overall company score represents the mean average of the company’s scores in each of the six categories. 

Each of the six categories are equally weighted in determining a companies’ overall score, although the number of targets and metrics within a given category varies.

The full methodology, including the ~200 individual metrics that comprise the Index, is available as part of the BoF Insights report, which can be purchased at shop.businessoffashion.com. As an add-on purchase to the report, BoF Insights is offering the Index’s underlying data in a downloadable Excel file, comprising ~9,000 binary scores collected across the study’s ~200 metrics applied to each of the 30 companies assessed. If you have specific questions about the methodology, please contact insights@businessoffashion.com.

Emissions

a. By 2030: Reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent.

Transparency

a. By 2022: Fully map supply chain and publicly disclose suppliers.

b. By 2022: Analyse and disclose data on environmental and social impact.

Water & Chemicals

a. By 2030: Reduce water use to naturally replenishable levels.

b. By 2030: Eliminate harmful pollution.

c. By 2030: Eliminate hazardous usage of chemicals.

d. The Baseline: Actively engage in industry efforts to minimise microfibre pollution.

Materials

a. By 2022: Procure 100 percent of materials from "preferred" sources.

b. By 2030: Procure 100 percent of all natural fibres from regenerative and socially responsible sources.

c. By 2030: Eliminate use of virgin polyester and other oil-based synthetic materials.

Workers’ Rights

a. The Baseline: Protection of human rights is embedded in corporate strategy.

b. By 2022: Fully align purchasing practices with commitments to ethical working conditions.

c. By 2025: Ensure workers receive a living wage.

Waste

a. By 2025: Eliminate waste to landfill and virgin and single-use plastic packaging.

b. By 2030: Establish waste-free production.

c. By 2025: Establish a circular business model.

The targets were chosen in consultation with an external council of sustainability experts (see the “Sustainability Council” in the questions below) and are intended as a framework to establish more environmentally and socially responsible business practices by the end of the decade.

No. Each company is assessed against the same set of criteria and in the same manner regardless of market segment.

BoF created the Index targets in consultation with a council of external experts in 2020. Before commencing research for the second edition of the Index, we sought the council’s feedback to inform any updates. BoF made all final decisions regarding changes to the methodology.

We intend to continue to update and evolve the methodology. We welcome commentary and feedback. Suggestions can be shared with the BoF by emailing insights@businessoffashion.com.

Yes. While the overall framework and 16 targets set for the industry remain the same, we condensed the number of individual metrics used to assess performance from more than 300 to just over 200.

We made these changes to remove areas of duplication and increase the level of commitment and action required from companies to score a point. We rebased the performance of companies assessed in the first edition for the second edition to reflect this update and enable a year-on-year comparison.

The full methodology, including the ~200 individual metrics that comprise the Index, is available in the BoF Insights report, which can be purchased at shop.businessoffashion.comAs an add-on to the report, BoF Insights is offering the Index’s underlying data as a downloadable excel file, comprising ~9,000 binary scores collected across the study’s ~200 metrics applied to each of the 30 companies assessed. If you have specific questions about the methodology, please email insights@businessoffashion.com

The Index includes metrics that address how companies responded to the pandemic, particularly in regards to workers’ rights. The scores reflect information published on or before Dec. 31, 2021, covering the timeframe in which companies were confronting the crisis.

We selected the members of the Sustainability Council based on their expertise on the various environmental and social challenges facing the fashion industry. The 12 members of the council collectively represent a global perspective and possess an extensive knowledge base that covers the issues raised across the six impact categories of the Index.

They are: ​​Nazma Akter, Founder and Executive Director of Awaj Foundation; Ayesha Barenblat, Founder and CEO of Remake; Anannya Bhattacharjee, International Coordinator at the Asia Floor Wage Alliance; Boma Brown-West, Safe and Healthy Products Director of Environmental Defense Fund; Dawn McGregor, Business Engagement Lead at CWR; Linda Greer, Global Fellow at the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs; Daniela Ibarra-Howell, Co-Founder and CEO of Savory Institute; Edwin Keh, CEO of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel; Fiona Lang, China Partner and Deputy General Manager of SynTao Sustainability Consultancy; Laila Petrie, CEO of 2050; Michael Sadowski, Independent Sustainability Advisor and World Resources Institute Research Consultant; and Shamistha Selvaratnam, Senior Advisor of Pillar Two.

BoF Insights consulted the Sustainability Council in developing the Index’s methodology and assessment criteria, which was initially developed in 2020 to launch the first edition of the Index.

Before commencing research for the second edition of the Index, BoF sought the council’s feedback to update the methodology. BoF made all final decisions regarding changes to the Index. The council was not involved in the subsequent research and analysis. However, the council was able to preview and comment upon this year’s findings.

The Sustainability Council members were invited to participate as advisors because of their individual expertise and knowledge of the industry. Every members’ input was considered when designing the initial methodology for the report published in 2021 to ensure no individual viewpoint affected the outcome. Council members were not involved in the research or analysis phase of the process.