PARIS — Kering is extending its support of sustainable leather production from pythons to crocodiles.


The French luxury and sports apparel group said on Thursday it was collaborating with the International Trade Centre (ITC) on a multiyear program to improve the sustainable trade in Nile crocodiles from Madagascar, following the imminent lifting of an international embargo on their sale.


A subsidiary organization of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the ITC provides trade-related technical assistance.


The launch of the Madagascar Crocodile Conservation and Sustainable Use Program comes after the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in July recommended lifting the suspension on the trade in Nile crocodiles from Madagascar in response to new laws for managing the species.


The program is aimed at safeguarding an important source of income for marginalized rural communities in Madagascar, while promoting the long-term conservation of crocodiles and their habitats.


Kering already works with the ITC on the Python Conservation Partnership, which does not focus on any specific country. The French group has declared it is committed to making sourcing of precious skins as sustainable as possible, with the hope of achieving 100 percent sustainability by 2016.


Kering and the ITC will provide technical support and financial resources for targeted activities in Madagascar to improve sustainable trade in crocodiles and help support the country’s obligations under CITES.


“At Kering we are focused on supporting sustainable production systems across our global supply chain and ensuring sustainable sources of raw materials,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering.


“As this new market for sourcing is opening up, we are pleased to be able to support the capacity building that will underpin the implementation of best practices in management of crocodile conservation, sustainable use and trade in Nile crocodiles from Madagascar,” she added.


On Wednesday, Kering announced it had received an award from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for being one of 10 French companies to receive an “A” grade for its performance in the CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014.


The award recognizes the group’s actions to lower carbon emissions and mitigate the business risks of climate change. Kering has also been included for the second year in a row in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World and Europe, topping the ranking in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods category.

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