LONDON — Compagnie Financière Richemont touted its ESG strides in the 2022 fiscal year ended March 31, and confirmed that it’s on track to eliminate PVC by the end of December. Over the past few years, the group has been reporting its goals and accomplishments in increasing detail, and has also beefed up its ESG team.
“We have continued to accelerate our sustainability efforts throughout (fiscal 2022) delivering against our short-, medium- and long-term goals,” Burkhart Grund, Richemont’s chief finance officer, said on Thursday as the company published its latest ESG report online.
“With the arrival of Bérangère Ruchat and Jasmine Whitbread, we are stepping up our sustainability focus and laying the foundations that will drive best-in-class environmental and social progress across our operations and supply chains,” he added.
As reported, Ruchat was named Richemont’s first chief sustainability officer, and Whitbread is the new chair of the group’s Governance and Sustainability Board Committee. Richemont described Whitbread is an experienced non-executive director with “extensive expertise” in ESG matters.
“With my team, I am further developing the group’s vision to accelerate and amplify the ESG transformation,” Ruchat said.
“Our mission is to infuse an impact-driven mind-set, enabling our colleagues to understand and integrate environmental and social dimensions into every business decision. Following global standards, we are committed to expand our sustainability reporting, and operate with the highest level of corporate governance,” she added.
Over the past year, Richemont said it delivered against its science-based targets and was publicly recognized for its leadership in corporate sustainability.
It achieved an A ranking with CDP for tackling climate change. CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies and local governments to manage their environmental impacts.
The group said it remains committed to 100 percent renewable electricity across all its sites by 2025, and is operating with 92 percent renewable electricity worldwide, an improvement of 28 percentage points since 2019. The company said it is on track to eliminate polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, from its creations and packaging by December 2022.
Richemont said it concluded its first Product Social Impact Assessment, PSIA, on artisanal and small-scale mined gold, and has devised an approach for future social projects. Through the PSIA, Richemont said it can evaluate specific operators and measure their overall social and human rights performance.
The group has also set a goal of 100 percent equal pay by 2024, and last year donated 42 million euros to community investment-related initiatives, in the fields of health care, social and economic development, education, women and children’s welfare.
The donations, it said, represent a 17 percent year-over-year increase, and a 40 percent increase over a five-year period.
In fiscal 2022, Richemont also received a Sustainalytics’ rating of 10.7, reflecting a low ESG risk profile and ranking the group in the top 2 percent of companies rated worldwide.
The Sustainalytics rating follows Chloé’s B Corp certification in 2022, which made it the first luxury maison to achieve the goal.
Richemont’s watch brands have also been making leaps in the field of sustainability.
As reported, Panerai’s chief executive officer Jean-Marc Pontroué is making luxury watches with recycled materials. He has also published lists of the brand’s suppliers in the hope that Panerai’s competitors can use similar metals and substances — and drive overall prices down.
Pontroué is committed to using only recycled packaging by 2023, and has been looking outside the industry for inspiration. At Watches and Wonders earlier this year, Panerai unveiled a larger number of eSteel watches, which are made from recycled metal.
Panerai’s Swiss offices in Neuchâtel, which opened nearly a decade ago, have zero environmental impact with regard to carbon dioxide production. The buildings have emission-reducing devices and use electricity from renewable sources.