LONDON — Chanel has named Kate Wylie, a Mars Inc. executive and public policy figure, as its global head of sustainability and as president of Fondation Chanel, the corporate foundation that focuses on empowering women and adolescent girls worldwide.
Wylie, whose titles will be global chief sustainability officer and president, at global level, of Fondation Chanel, succeeds Andrea d’Avack, who will retire in June.
She will join Chanel in April before taking up her two new roles on July 1, and will report directly to Chanel’s chief executive officer Alain Wertheimer.
Wylie will be responsible for taking Chanel’s sustainability strategy, long-term commitments and expertise to the next level, the company said. She will oversee the overall strategy of the foundation, which was established in 2011.
“She has a deep understanding of business operations and sustainability issues across the value chain, and is recognized for her extensive experience in this field,” Chanel added.
Wylie is global vice president for sustainability at the food and drinks company Mars. During her 10 years at the company, she developed strategies for the company’s most challenging issues, including sustainable sourcing and packaging as well as poverty alleviation.
Wylie holds a first class honors degree in economics from Manchester University, and also sits on the U.K.’s Government’s Council for Sustainable Business (part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), and the Advisory Board for the U.K. Treasury’s Economics of Biodiversity Review.
Over the past 12 months, Chanel has been making major strides on the sustainability front.
In March it released a set of goals known as Chanel Mission 1.5, aimed at tackling climate change in line with the targets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
The overall program touches upon every aspect of Chanel’s business, which turned carbon neutral in 2019, from fragrance to runway, retail, sourcing and supply chain. It takes in emissions-busting community outreach projects, too.
Every move is aimed at limiting the mean global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a figure set out in the Paris agreement, and addressing waste across the company.
Last summer, the company issued its first green bond, in step with a number of other luxury goods firms, including Moncler, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Burberry.
Chanel raised 600 million euros through the bond issue, and principals said the money will help the brand transform its business model, and hit the series of sustainability targets laid out in its Mission 1.5° report.
The green bond trades on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, and marked Chanel’s debut on the public markets.