The Bumpy Road to Biodiversity Management for Apparel Companies The Case of Nudie Jeans

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Phan, Nhu Anh
This research looks into how the roadmap for biodiversity initiatives in Nudie Jeans, a denim company based in Gothenburg, Sweden, can be set up. Specifically, the interest revolves around the motivation for and understanding of biodiversity disclosure and management, from which the gaps and challenges along with future solutions are identified. The objective was approached with a combination of interviews and literature review, from which a ranking of environmental data exchange and a SWOT analysis were derived. Furthermore, the suggested future steps were derived from a modified version of Science-Based Targets. It was found that the company has a growing interest in tackling biodiversity impact on its own operations. This interest arises from its own awareness of risks and the increasing attention of the fashion industry to mitigate the risks of biodiversity decline. The main purpose for assessing and managing biodiversity impact was identified to be for internal knowledge exchange and learning. Biodiversity management is desired to be a part of sustainability management of the company and this system is expected to be communicable, effective, and simple to use. However, the company has not devised specific strategies and action plans, mainly due to the infancy of corporate biodiversity initiatives, the perceived lack of capacity to handle the complexity of biodiversity impact, and the low expressed interest of customers in biodiversity issues. Regarding data availability, the raw material and the retail stages have the most environmentally related information, while the logistics and distribution stages have little data on these issues. Furthermore, the most available information in the supply chain is related to operations and general environmental compliance. This includes material volume and emissions, followed by hazardous chemicals, energy and emissions, while the information related to soil and ecosystem is least kept track of. In addition, many of Nudie Jeans’ current sustainability works have positive associations to counter biodiversity losses. For future outlooks, it was suggested that Nudie Jeans establish a mitigation hierarchy based on materiality assessment and value chain mapping, to properly benchmark its biodiversity goals with quantifiable data in focus areas. A list of practical environmental improvement areas is also compiled, consisting of both technical and social pro-biodiversity interventions that the company can bank on. The most critical issues are seed conservation and identification of biodiversity hotspots from the upstream of the supply chain, but strengthening engagement with suppliers and consumers should also be emphasized.
biodiversity assessment , environmental governance , non-financial information disclosure , corporate social responsibility
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