LONDON — Richemont is putting a greater accent on sustainability with the promotion of two top executives with years of expertise in the field.
On Friday, the company said Bérangère Ruchat will join the group’s senior executive committee in her capacity as chief sustainability officer, effective Friday.
Ruchat will continue to report to Burkhart Grund, chief finance officer of Richemont and a director on the board of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA.
Richemont has also nominated Bram Schot for election to the board of directors. His appointment is subject to the approval of shareholders at the 2023 AGM on Sept. 6.
Schot is a Dutch national with more than three decades of experience in the premium automotive industry, and with a background in sustainability. If elected, he will serve as a non-executive director.
Commenting on Ruchat’s appointment, Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said that in just 12 months, she has “significantly contributed to strengthening Richemont’s sustainability strategy, further raising the group’s understanding of sustainability and ESG reporting and compliance matters.”
He said Richemont has a “longstanding commitment to doing business responsibly” and Ruchat’s appointment to the senior executive committee “is a further recognition of the importance of this transversal discipline to us as a group.”
Ruchat was appointed Richemont’s first chief sustainability officer a year ago, and brought two decades of expertise in the field of sustainability and work across business, governments and NGOs. She joined from the Firmenich Group where she drove that group’s sustainability strategy during her 12-year tenure.
Schot has worked for companies including DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen Group and Audi, where he initiated the transition to electrification, and gained “a deep understanding of sustainability issues and the challenges associated with an energy transition,” according to Richemont.
He is a non-executive director of Shell plc, where he is also a member of the safety, environmental and sustainability committee and the remuneration committee.
Rupert said that Schot brings “unparalleled managerial experience and expertise in client-centricity, technology, sustainability, innovation and risk management to help reach our objective of achieving longterm profitable, responsible and sustainable growth.”
He added that Schot has gained “a deep understanding not only of sustainability as a means to innovate to transform business models, but also of the complex automobile supply chain, which bears many similarities with the watch industry, and of the importance of creating iconic and timeless products for customers.”
Richemont, and the brands it owns, have been making sustainability strides over the past few months.
As reported earlier this week, the Richemont-owned Chloé is unveiling a digital ID certificate that facilitates swift resale through secondhand marketplace Vestiaire Collective.
The digital ID known as Chloé Vertical also details product care and repair information and allows consumers to trace all the materials used to create its luxury bags, shoes and ready-to-wear.
At group level, Richemont is committing to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 46 percent by 2030 from a 2019 base year. It is also committing to cut Scope 3 GHG emissions from “purchased goods and services and business travel” by 55 percent per dollar of profit by 2030.