This white paper was developed by HUGO BOSS


“The white paper “The Environmental Impact Valuation as Scientific Basis for a Sustainable Apparel Strategy” published in September 2016 as a result of years of research, development and verification showed the potential of combining well established methods like Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and the Natural Capital Protocol (NCP).

In the mean time HUGO BOSS and Quantis continued to analyze additional products and their supply chain as part of their ongoing collaboration within the initiative “World Apparel & Footwear Life Cycle Assessment Database (WALDB)”.

This second edition presents all the research done until end of 2016 and integrates also the impact allocation rules for wool and leather from the european initiative Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). The allocation rules are important for sheep farming as raw material of any wool product and as well for cattle farming and slaughterhouse for leather products. The cotton production allocation remaines unchained as published in the first edition.

This second edition provides an update for the wool sweater, new cotton products and also for the first time an impact valuation of a leather product and the hot spots of its supply chain.

With this second edition of the environmental impact valuation of textile and leather products HUGO BOSS and Quantis aim to make all relevant informations for leather-, wool- and cotton products public, according to scientifically recognized methods and with high quality data throughout the full supply chain.

Based on the impact valuation research and with the help of cotton experts, HUGO BOSS has also released the public available cotton commitment. This commitment entails detailed information regarding all areas of sustainability and highlights the main aspects to be considered when sourcing more sustainable cotton…

3. Natural Capital Protocol

First analyses have been conducted under the framework of the Natural Capital Protocol (NCC, 2015) established by the Natural Capital Coalition. The framework defines requirements and provides principles for the monetization of eco-system services (or natural capital).

Graph 1 Aggregation levels of the Natural Capital Evaluation

Natural Capital Evaluation: applying “monetizing factors” which take into account local characteristics.

Damage categories: according to the impact 2002+ methodology.

Midpoint categories: according to the ILCD methodology.

Process data: Low level process data resulting from the single input/output flows.

The graph shows the conversion of low level process data into midpoint impact categories, damage categories and finaly to a single monetized impact according to standardized and recognized methods. The last step of monetization serves also as weighting of the environmental impacts, acknowledging the specific value of ecosystem services (e.g. the value of water in different zones, water scarcity).

Therefore, this approach allows the identification of environmental hotspots among the various indicators. As the monetization process has been implemented in a transparent way, the framework can also be used to identify the root causes of the monetized impact.

The detailed description of the applied methodology can be found in the first white paper “The Environmental Impact Valuation as Scientific Basis for a Sustainable Apparel Strategy” published in October 2016.

Statistical analysis: For each manufacturing step, minimum, mean and maximum values from all corresponding Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) were calculated in order to get an understanding of the statistical variance. For the major hotspots, sensitivity analyses were carried out. This is conducive for trackbacking the root causes. Sensitivity analyses were elaborated by applying different energy sources (fossil based versus renewable) to a specific manufacturing process, changing the transport modes (airfreight versus sea freight or rail) or comparing different irrigation methods.

Download the full report here.