PARIS — More energy-efficient stores and cleaner leather tanning are among tactics that helped Kering shave 11 million euros, or $14.6 million, off its environmental impact in 2014.
However, the impact of raw materials increased, mainly due to an increase in production volumes for items made with calf leather, rubber and cashmere.
Those are among the key findings for the French group’s Environmental Profit and Loss (E P&L) account for 2014, a tool to measure the value and impacts on the environment of its business activities.
Overall, the impact increased 2.2 percent, which Kering noted was lower than the group’s revenue growth of 4.5 percent, suggesting the group made some improvements in its environmental footprint.
The value of its impact on the environment amounted to 792.8 million euros, or $1.05 billion, versus 773 million euros, or $1.03 billion, in 2013, with more than half of the tally associated with raw materials.
Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the full years in questions.
Last year, greenhouse gas emissions accounted for 37 percent of the total cost, versus 28 percent for land use and 11 percent for water pollution.
François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the group is “further integrating the E P&L into key decisions and to monitor environmental impacts such as climate change on our supply chains and on the raw materials that are strategically important to us in the short and long-term.”
The executive has called the fashion industry one of the most polluting in the world, and “it is essential that businesses share solutions that can help reduce our collective impact on the environment and replenish our natural resources.”
Last year was the first time Kering tabled an E P&L, and the 2014 tallies suggest consistency, validating the methodology and allowing the company to make decisions based on the impact.
For example, the supply chain accounted for 93 percent of the environmental impact in 2014, on par with the year prior.
In terms of raw materials, leather represents the biggest impact, followed by plant fibers, synthetic fibers and animal fibers. Metals moved to fifth place, due to reduced metal use in some products, Kering said.
The company’s main efforts to reduce its environmental impact relate to sustainable production practices and raw material sourcing; reducing the impact of manufacturing, and increasing the efficiency of its stores, offices and warehouses.
Last year, increased manufacturing volumes added 15 million euros, or $19.9 million, to environmental costs, while raw material production and processing added 12 million euros, or $15.9 million.
Kering released its results on the eve of the big United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, in Paris, scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.