[co-author: Hadley Dreibelbis]
Multinational fashion companies doing business in New York may soon face new regulations. The New York Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (the “Fashion Act”), currently under review by the New York State Legislature, will map the supply chains and It requires public disclosure of environmental and social responsibility standards. report. If passed, the law will mandate greater accountability for corporate sustainability efforts. It also requires companies to conduct extensive due diligence and impose potential private lawsuit rights on companies.
In January, members of the New York General Assembly voted on the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (“fashion law”), creating environmental and social governance reporting requirements for multinational fashion retailers and manufacturers. This law applies to global companies with revenues greater than his $100 million doing business in New York. If the bill passes, New York will become the first state in the country to address the fashion industry’s impact on climate change.
Due diligence requirements
As currently written, companies must undergo extensive social due diligence and comply with numerous reporting requirements. First, companies must map a minimum of 50% of their supply chain, from the origin of raw materials to the factories that make garments. Next, we need to identify where in this chain the greatest social and environmental impacts are occurring and outline concrete steps to mitigate them. The Fashion Act also requires companies to disclose material production volumes.
When reporting, companies must disclose everything from greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, plastic use and chemical management to fair wages. Greenhouse gas emissions reporting must comply with universal environmental accounting standards as set forth by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard and the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard. Social due diligence protocols must be aligned with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The fashion law disclosure must also be posted on the company’s website using an easily accessible link.
If the bill is passed, companies will have 12 months to comply with the Mapping Directive and 18 months to make the required disclosures. Violations of the law can subject companies to fines of up to 2% of annual revenue. The money generated from the fines will go to a new environmental justice-focused community fund managed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Fashion Sustainability Act is currently undergoing committee review in the New York State Legislature, with sponsors aiming to vote on it in late spring 2022.
If passed, the law would bring all multinational fashion companies under one standard for reporting their ESG efforts and impose extensive compliance obligations. Businesses may need help navigating these new due diligence requirements.