French luxury conglomerate LVMH is ahead of its sustainability roadmap and announced new commitments for the environment and biodiversity on Wednesday, when LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault welcomed executives from LVMH and its Maisons to an event at the Group’s headquarters in Paris centered on the LVMH Initiatives For the Environment program (LIFE).
The meeting highlighted LVMH’s initiatives for protecting biodiversity as well as goals for eco-design, engagement with the circular economy and reduced energy consumption. LVMH also presented new commitments, notably an Animal-based Raw Materials Sourcing Charter.
Four objectives met for 2020
The LIFE program was launched in 2012 and since 2015, the Group’s 75 Maisons have integrated it into their strategic planning. In 2016, LVMH further strengthened this policy and defined four objectives for 2020: improving the environmental performance of all its products, applying the highest standards for sourcing, improving key environmental performance indicators for all sites and reducing CO2 emissions.
With 2020 just a few months away, the Future LIFE Paris event presented the Group’s achievements in these four areas, along with concrete goals moving forward. “We believe that environmental performance is a source of innovation, creativity and excellence and as such must be considered in all design and manufacture activities. ... Our results speak for themselves. We are making a commitment to accelerate our efforts in this area and continually go even further,” commented Arnault.
Concretely, this means for renewable energy, that the target of 30 percent of LVMH’s energy mix is likely to be exceeded, it being 27 percent in 2018. In terms of CO2 emissions, the Group is on track to meet the target of reducing them by 25 percent by 2020. In terms of waste management, 91 percent of waste was reused, recycled or transformed into energy in 2018.
LVMH’s carbon footprint reduced
LVMH’s Carbon Fund doubled the price per metric ton of CO2 generated from 15 to 30 euros in 2018, thus further accelerating initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. Not used as offsets, the funds directly finance CO2-reducing projects for the Maisons; 112 projects in 2018.
In terms of materials, 48 percent of the leather used by LVMH’s Maisons is sourced in Leather Working Group (LWG) certified tanneries. The target of 70 percent will be achieved by the end of 2019. LVMH tanneries are already LWG certified. LVMH has already achieved 99 percent of its 100 percent objective for Responsible Jewelry Council certification of diamonds used by 2020.
Guest of honor Stella McCartney spoke for the first time at an LVMH event since the partnership between her fashion house and the LVMH Group was announced in July. She explained her motivations for adopting environmental responsibility in the fashion industry in terms of both design and procurement and discussed her role as special advisor on sustainability issues to Bernard Arnault and members of LVMH’s executive committee. Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of Dior, shared the ways that nature inspired her runway show at the Longchamp racecourse the previous day.
Beyond these commitments, LVMH also announced new strategic partnerships to support its initiatives in sustainable development and protecting biodiversity: emergency aid to preserve the Amazon, a partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation and funding of the AgroParisTech Foundation Ecological Compatibility Chair.