Kering's sustainability targets report shows big improvements

24 May 2016

Luxury goods group Kering has reported on its attempts to reach a series of sustainability objectives by 2016 – making big strides in the sustainable sourcing of materials such as crocodile skin, but missing other targets by a wide margin.

In 2012, the French conglomerate which owns luxury fashion brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Stella McCartney, set targets to reduce the group’s negative environmental and social impact throughout the supply chain.

The company’s 2016 sustainability report reveals it has achieved 99% of its target to make its collections PVC-free by 2016, for example, but has only reached 15% of its target to source 100% of its gold from verified responsible sources.

Chief Sustainability Officer Marie-Claire Daveu stressed the importance of transparency to Kering.

“With these targets we have not only considered the impact of our own operations, but our entire supply chain,” she said. “That goes beyond traditional corporate approaches.”

Across its supply chains Kering has reduced carbon emissions by 11%, decreased its waste output by 16% and cut its water usage by 19% since 2012. All of these fell short of targets of 25%.

In 2015, Kering bought 220kg of Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC)-certified gold, and anticipates it will purchase double that amount this year. It plans to work with NGOs to ensure further sourcing of sustainable gold.

“Our sustainability targets were ambitious and audacious and our attempts to meet them have not been without challenges,” added Daveu.

Kering reached only 64% of its target to source 100% of its leather from sustainable sources – sources which avoid converting sensitive ecosystems into agricultural land.

The company had reached 91% of its target for sustainable sourcing of crocodile skin and 41% for precious skins such as python skin.

The report said there were still “very few sources that are transparent enough and up to our standards” for precious skins.

Kering said 69% of its emissions in its supply chain come from raw material production.

The company has performed 6,000 supplier audits since 2012.

In a report released in 2015 with Business for Social Responsibility, Kering detailed how climate change posed a significant threat to the sourcing of raw materials such as cashmere and cotton.

In 2013, it released its Environmental Profit & Loss methodology, which attempted to give a monetary value to environmental footprints.

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