Coming out of our conference week, I was so grateful to meet with members of the benchmarking community and the wider textile industry, in person as well as virtually. After a long period of uncertainty, which sadly continues, it felt unreal but exciting to meet people in person again.
Image: Carlotta Cataldi’s visual recording of Textile Exchange’s “Scaling Solutions”
Image: CFMB team in Dublin (from left) Jessica Garcia, Liesl Truscott, Prerna Pandey
We are growing!
Like Carlotta’s lovely tree (in the photo above) the Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB) program continues to grow and bloom!
This year, despite it being another COVID impacted year, we experienced a record high participation rate. The team is deep in reviews right now, but we are looking at a 2021 cohort of around 300 companies (including brands, retailers and their subsidiaries, manufacturers, and suppliers). This is incredible growth over the previous high of 191 (and 16 supplier pilots) last year.
As someone that is fairly new to the team and the benchmark, I want to say I am in awe of your commitment to preferred materials! Congratulations to everyone who managed to push “submit”. It’s not an easy feat, and I speak on behalf of the team when I say we are all very proud to see so many companies step up this year.
Our goal is to turn around your scorecards as quickly as we can. Many of you will have already heard from us and know how thorough our validation process is! Once again, we are so impressed with your expertise and efforts to respond accurately so we can wrap this phase up and share your much awaited scorecards early in the new year.
Updated Impacts Dashboard
Hopefully, many of you know about our Materials Impact Dashboard. We release the dashboard each year to track each annual cohort of participants’ commitments, targets, aggregated uptake of materials, sourcing transparency, and modeled outcomes and impacts. The latter in collaboration with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, using the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI).
So why are we mentioning this again? Well, we have just re-launched the online dashboard with some new interactive features such as tool tips, hovers, and other navigation features to make your experience of this tool more intuitive and satisfying to use.
We would love you to take a look here: https://mci.textileexchange.org/dashboard/. We hope you like the changes, and please do send us any feedback or questions so we can continue to improve. A big thank you to our tool-building partners at Versantus for helping us make these adjustments!
2022 is strategic review time
We are now gearing up for our routine program review where we have a good hard think about how to improve the benchmark and ensure it is future-fit – well, for at least for the next 5 years and delivers what you – as participants – need. We are tremendously excited to be steering the program in stride with our Climate+ ambitions and will be spending a lot of time listening to practitioners and every stakeholder so we get this right. Consultation starts in earnest in January – and we’ve heard from many of you already – so we want to encourage others to come forward (email us) if you have ideas or a passion to help us through this process. We would love to hear from you!
As a taste of what’s to come – here are some of the conversations we are starting to have and questions we know many of you have:
- How do we accommodate a growing community of benchmarkers – should the CFMB program aim to be more representative of the entire industry – or keep the Index focused on the leaders’ journey in materials sourcing?
- How do we move beyond materials uptake calculations and risk and opportunity management (which is already quite an ask!) towards more geographically aligned data, outcomes and impacts?
- What does it look like for the CFMB to become more of a “data sharing” platform and support companies wanting to report to multiple programs but desperately needing the questionnaire alignment and technical efficiencies to do so?
- Should the CFMB program support data disclosure/reporting activities required by standard setters and investor communities – is there an opportunity to align on ESG/investor-grade data requirements – once again for efficiencies and increased benefits?
- Ultimately, how do we maximize flexibility, efficiencies, and more opportunities for value- add – easing the burden and ratcheting up the improvement cycles?
If you are interested in these questions and more, please be in touch at CFMB@TextileExchange.org
On behalf of your CFMB team: Liesl Truscott, Jessica Garcia Lama, Theresa Hamilton, and Hayley Warren