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Kering to Transform Luxury Industry with Next-Gen Sustainability Strategy

Image Credit: Kering

French luxury goods holding company Kering announced on Wednesday the next phase of its sustainability strategy across its 16 luxury brands, including Stella McCartney. Kering says it will support the drive towards a low-carbon economy and help shape the future of luxury as sustainable and to operate within the planetary boundaries. Kering’s sustainable strategy is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Underpinning Kering’s vision is the recognition that a company can only become truly sustainable if it goes far beyond the conventional limits of its own direct operations to address the environmental and social impacts across the supply chain. Guided by the SDGs, Kering has also included quantifiable 2025 targets in the strategy, under the three themes of Care, Collaborate and Create.

“More than ever, I am convinced that sustainability can redefine business value and drive future growth. As business leaders, we all have a crucial role to play and I worked with the CEOs of our luxury Maisons to embed sustainability across our activities while developing this next important phase of our sustainability strategy,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering. “Our strategy outlines how we will redesign our business to continue to thrive and prosper sustainably into the future, while at the same time helping to transform the luxury sector and contributing to meet the significant social and environmental challenges of our generation.”

In line with its “Care” Sustainability Targets, the group has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent in transportation and distribution, business flights, and fuel and energy-related emissions by 2025. Additionally, Kering plans to reduce emissions from purchased goods and services by 40 percent and to create a supplier index of sustainability to ensure that the high standards for raw materials and processes are being implemented by the suppliers at 100 percent during the same period. This is slated to raise the bar on traceability, animal welfare, chemical use and social welfare. Kering has also said it will work towards promoting sustainable design and minimize the environmental impact of a product at every stage, from sourcing and manufacturing to transportation and consumer use, and create an open-sourced tool to assess products based on its standards.

To achieve its “Collaborate” Sustainability Targets, Kering aims to extend focus across the supply chain and improve; develop an industry-leading performance metric system that will measure achievement of the SDGs; and amplify forward-thinking employment practices, including the global parental policy launched on 1 January, a well-being at work policy by 2018, and an employee benefits policy by 2020. It will continue to develop collaborations with leading universities to identify sustainability solutions.

Kering also intends to create new business models by investing in disruptive innovations that can transform conventional processes in luxury, and influence the industry. It will encourage circular economy through turning recycled textiles into new clothing by developing new sustainable solutions for easy sourcing of raw materials.

“Rethinking luxury is a necessity to adapt to our changing world while responding to the concerns of new generations of luxury clients. We have already made significant improvements over the last years and we will continue to strive for the highest environmental and social standards,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of international institutional affairs at Kering. “It is through catalyzing innovation that we will be able to go beyond incremental improvements and implement the transformational changes that are necessary to be truly sustainable in our business and as an industry. We will continue to open-source our solutions and approaches to support the scaling up of sustainability in the luxury sector while sharing every 3 years the progress we have made.”


Libby MacCarthy is an Editorial Assistant at Sustainable Brands, based in Maine and France. She is a former urban planner specializing in sustainable cities, and an urban farming and film photography enthusiast. She holds a BA in Environment, Society and… [Read more about Libby MacCarthy]


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