As we all work to improve our sustainability performance, how can we track our progress? Are our accomplishments ahead of the curve, or are others surpassing us? What can we learn from our peers, and on which areas should we focus? It is questions like these that we hope to address through the Preferred Fiber and Materials (PFM) Benchmark.

The PFM Benchmark provides a robust structure to help companies systematically measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into mainstream business operations, to compare progress with the sector, and to transparently communicate performance and progress to stakeholders.

Companies follow a self-assessment process intended to help identify the strengths and the gaps where future progress can be made. By comparing section scores with those achieved by the whole sector, companies can plan improvement efforts and prioritize action areas.

Key indicators (inputs, outcomes, and impacts) of the PFM Benchmark are monitored through a Barometer of Progress and align with Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production.


71 companies from 16 countries participated in the 2016 PFM Benchmark Program. The PFM Index Result indicated that the sector is at an “establishing” stage of integrating PFMs into mainstream business operations. Download the Sector Report to read the analysis, trends, outcomes and impacts of this result!

Download 2016 Sector Report


Get The Best Out of Your Company Feedback Report ● Introducing The PFM Benchmark 2016 ● Insights into The Stakeholder Consultation ● PFM Benchmark 2017 For Beginners ● PFM Benchmark 2017 for Returnees

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Our framework follows a systematic approach to integrating PFMs into business strategy. It is divided into four key areas:

Corporate Strategy looks at how fiber and materials are integrated into your business, and the tools your company uses to guide more sustainable sourcing decisions. It also identifies who holds accountability and responsibility to deliver on fiber and material sustainability.

Supply Chain determines the organizational approach to safeguarding the integrity, responsible growth, and supply security of your preferred fibers and materials. This section looks at voluntary standards, supply chain transparency, and investment.

The Consumption section quantifies the volumes of preferred fibers and materials used by your company and captures year-on-year trends in converting from conventional fibers and materials to preferred options.

Consumer Engagement takes a look at the range of products and markets that your preferred fibers and materials are entering. It covers B2C factors such as product differentiation, customer communication, and company return on investment.

Why Is The PFM Benchmark Important?

It Supports a Company’s Transition From Conventional to Preferred Fibers and Materials

Knowing where raw materials come from is key to assessing supply risks and opportunities.

Science-based data (e.g. LCA) is proving that some of the biggest sustainability impacts of textile production occur during the production and mining of raw materials.

It Demonstrates Commitment to Measuring Progress, Transparency & Disclosure

There is growing pressure from stakeholders to measure both management and progress, and for public disclosure.

The industry at large is seeking reliable means to credibly and consistently account for and communicate progress.

It Links the Textile Industry to the Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs are universal (for both developed and developing countries), holistic (people-centered and planet-sensitive), and measurable.

Many companies are adopting the framework of the SDGs to plan a long-term approach to sustainability.

“The TE Benchmark is a great tool and has helped us develop insights and strategies into areas for improvement. It’s not about being first or being last on the chart, it’s more about learning and moving forward as an industry in a positive manner.”
Manu Rastogi, Textile R&D and Responsible Materials Manager, Kathmandu

What The PFM Benchmark Is and Isn’t

  • Connector.Connector.

    A framework to help companies systematically measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into mainstream business operations.

  • Connector.Connector.

    A framework to review all fiber and materials used by a company or all activities in a supply chain.

  • Connector.Connector.

    A tool to help identify the strengths and the gaps where future progress can be made.

  • Connector.Connector.

    An in-depth tool for evaluating the preferred (sustainability) status of a fiber/material.

  • Connector.Connector.

    A self-assessment process. TE carries out desk-based reviews; however, companies are responsible for the quality of their submission.

  • Connector.Connector.

    A third party audit of a company’s activities.

  • Connector.Connector.

    Company feedback (provided confidentially to each participant), and a “state of the industry” Sector Report that recognizes the sector’s achievement and progress towards the SDGs.

  • Connector.Connector.

    A “name and shame” exercise.

  • Connector.Connector.

    An annual event, giving a consistent measurement process which supports a company’s year-on-year performance improvement.

  • Connector.Connector.

    A one-off survey for TE’s reporting purposes alone.

Liesl Truscott, European & Materials Strategy Director Liesl@TextileExchange.org  Lisa Emberson, Materials Platform Coordinator Lisa@TextileExchange.org

This Program is kindly sponsored by:  Tchibo GmbH. CAF logo 2-01