PARIS — Kering continues apace on its sustainability road map as it aims to transform the company’s practices and business model.
In its latest sustainability progress report released Wednesday, the parent company of Balenciaga, Gucci, Saint Laurent and other luxury brands detailed its big wins as well as its incremental progress, and reiterated its long-term environmental goals.
One of its major wins in 2022 was meeting its stated target of sourcing 100 percent of its electricity within its own operations from renewable sources under RE100, the global business initiative led by the Climate Group and CDP.
Kering also noted that in 2022, the company created a department dedicated to sustainable finance, to integrate environmental considerations into business decisions, long-term investments and projects. The new finance arm works with the overall sustainability department to “unlock further sustainability solutions.”
“Building these bridges across our departments and adapting our governance structure to ensure sustainability is at the heart of all of our decision-making and has been a fundamental part of our strategy,” the company said.
Kering is working to becoming fully traceable from the bottom of its supply chain on up, and says it knows the origins of about 95 percent of its raw materials. Materials such as wool and leather are well documented above 95 percent, while textiles such as wood-based viscose are still a bit more opaque with 77 percent of cellulose-based fibers fully traceable.
Kering has set internal standards on sourcing and supports the use of material with recycled content of natural fibers such as wool, cashmere, silk, mohair and alpaca. When using recycled content in a product, the amount of the recycled content should be at least 20 percent.
Under those standards, 72 percent of cotton is organic or recycled, 60 percent of wool is organic, regenerative or responsibly managed, and 76 percent of cellulose-based fibers are from managed forests.
Other textiles are still works in progress, with 48 percent of silk coming from organic or recycled sources; 31 percent of cashmere is organic, recycled or from regenerative sources, and petroleum-based nylon and polyester are sourced from 28 percent recycled sources.
Fifty percent of the leather supplying its leather goods is from metal- or chrome-free processing. The report also noted that Kering has mapped its leather supply chain, including 487 slaughterhouses, to meet its internal standards.
The company’s first round of greenhouse gas emissions cuts is well under way. In 2022, Kering reduced the group’s scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 71 percent and achieved a 52 percent intensity reduction of its scope 3 emissions, from a 2015 baseline. That’s a significant chunk of its stated 2030 targets of a 90 percent reduction in scopes 1 and 2 and a 70 percent in scope 3, which it laid out in 2021.
On Friday, the company announced a new, even more ambitious goal of cutting its GHG emissions by 40 percent in absolute terms by 2035.
There are also other big goals on the horizon, including completely cutting out single-use plastics by 2025, and to achieve zero micro-fiber leakage on products by 2030.
Speaking to WWD, Kering chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer Marie-Claire Daveu said eliminating consumer-facing and business-to-business plastics is one of its biggest challenges. To tackle the plastic problem, she said Kering is working with The Fashion Pact, a global group of companies launched by Kering chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault in 2019, on testing solutions within this tight time frame.
“Our strategy covers a range of topics falling under these targets, guiding us to rethink the way we use resources and manufacture our products to minimize waste, pollution and chemicals while supporting the regeneration of nature. It also promotes circular design principles to encourage durability, longevity and reuse, and, ultimately, how to extend the lives of our products through new business models,” the company said.
The company is also aiming for “net-zero impact on nature,” and to that end is continuing to invest in land use and conservation projects, including transforming 1 million hectares to regenerative agriculture and protecting a separate 1 million hectares outside of its supply chain all by 2025.
At an event in New York last week, Daveu teased a June climate justice-themed event Kering will hold in Paris. Though details are limited, the event is likely to engage partners such as Conservation International. Underscoring its commitment to consumer education, Kering also recently launched a podcast called “Fashion Our Future” with Marie Claire.
Kering is anticipated to release its full environmental profit and loss statement in April.