Sustainable Textile and Leather Traceability and Transparency Project


Project Details 

Project Identifier
Bureau Decision #
#180827 #1908028; #1912053; #2006001, #2009044, #2010050, #2010051, #2011057; #2101080, #2102093
Project Proposal Status


Project Page

Sustainable Textile and Leather Traceability and Transparency Project

Supporting VC
Project Lead
HoD Support
IT / AT / NL
Submitted date
Draft Development Completion
Publication Date

Project Purpose

Improving traceability has become one of the major objectives of most sectors in the garment and footwear industry, in order to increase their ability to manage their supply chains more effectively and sustainably. In preparatory work carried out in 2017 and 2018 by UNECE, it was recognized that UN/CEFACT’s work and mandate could be instrumental in supporting the harmonization and better coordination of international trade and electronic business processes and help countries draw together their initiatives and approaches to enhance transparency for sustainable garment and footwear global value chains. In further consultations with UN/CEFACT and with industry stakeholders, it was determined that core principles on how projects should be set up and operated to provide collaboration between the participating stakeholders under a common traceability and transparency system were largely lacking. These core principles should include a definition of vision and objectives of the transparency and traceability system, implementation phases, business process analysis of the industry value chain, distribution of costs and benefits among stakeholders, rules for collaboration, rules for data exchange and confidentiality, including on sustainability risks, data exchange standards, measurement of performance, among other elements. In this connection, the purpose of this project, is to develop a recommendation, guidelines and electronic business standards on transparency and traceability for sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear sector in support of more responsible production and consumption patterns, in line with relevant SDGs of Agenda 2030.

Project Scope

This project aims to bring together the main actors involved in the textile and leather sector, including key players from the world of international, governments, private sector associations, NGOs and Accademia. Textile and leather in the context of this project is intended to cover all garment and footwear-related operation. It also covers all animal biproducts (including leather) and all plant biproducts. A framework to design traceability for sustainable trade has already been developed by the UNECE Trade Facilitation Section secretariat; this project will build upon this model and provide much needed guidance and tools to the garment and footwear sector on how best to apply these principles to the specific nature of their industry. This global framework will give specific attention to tackling negative health, social and environmental impacts of garment and footwear-related operations. UN/CEFACT has developed electronic standards on Animal traceability, plant traceability and their bi-products as well as eCrop data exchange. These base data exchange standards are useful within the textile and leather industry but require slight adjustments in order to fully meet their specific requirements, and to capture sustainability performance. The project will therefore create the specific BRS, CCBDA and XML message schemas for the garment and footwear sector. The Business to Business processes and the Business to Government processes will be considered in the national and global trans-border operations. Based on the UN/CEFACT Buy-Ship-Pay model, all stages of product life cycle will be considered, including farming/cultivation, processing, transport/logistics and retail, and will attempt to extend to the use, reuse and recycle stages, in connection with the circular economy approach. The project will further aim to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, specifically on SDG12, which calls on responsible consumption and production patters, as well as SDG8 on inclusive growth, and SDG 17 on rules based international trading system.

Project Deliverables

- Deliverable 1: Recommendation on Traceability and Transparency for Sustainable Value Chains in the Textile and Leather Sector - Deliverable 2: BRS on Traceability for Sustainable Textile and Leather Value Chains - Deliverable 3: CCBDA exchange syntax neutral message structure on Traceability for sustainable textile and leather value chains (or technical equivalent) - Deliverable 4: XML message schema for the Traceability for sustainable textile and leather value chains

Exit Criteria

- Exit Criteria for Deliverable 1: Internal and external review logs showing how comments have been addressed. - Final draft of text ready for publication - Exit Criteria for Deliverable 2: Internal and external review logs showing how comments have been addressed. - Final draft of text ready for publication - Exit Criteria for Deliverable 3: Final draft ready for publication. - Exit Criteria for Deliverable 4: Final draft ready for publication.

Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise

Membership is open to UN/CEFACT experts with broad knowledge in the area of: Textile and leather sector as well as in sustainable supply chain management, traceability systems and the UN/CEFACT Buy-Ship-Pay Model. In addition, Heads of Delegations may invite technical experts from their constituency to participate in the work. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics and the policy on Intellectual Property Rights.

Geographical Focus

The geographical focus of the project is global

Initial Contributions

The following contributions are submitted as part of this proposal. It is understood that these contributions are only for consideration by the Project Team and that other participants may submit additional contributions in order to ensure that as much information as possible is obtained from those with expertise and a material interest in the project. It is also understood that the Project Team may choose to adopt one or more of these contributions “as is”. • UNECE paper “Transparency in garment value chains in relation to the environmental, social, and human health impacts of parts, components and production processes” • UN/CEFACT Conferences on “Ethical and informed choices for sustainable clothing- Tracking and tracing garment supply chains” (30th and 31st UN/CEFACT Forum) • UNECE Framework to Design Traceability Systems for Cross-border Trade • UN/CEFACT Buy-Ship-Pay Model • UN/CEFACT Technical deliverables in the agriculture domain o Traceability of Primary Natural Products o eCROPS o Fisheries Language for Universal eXchange (FLUX) o Electronic laboratory observation reporting message o eCERT Export specification

Resource Requirements

Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any additional resources from the UNECE secretariat.

Project Proposal Files