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It’s January 22, 2019.
Every year the Canadian magazine specialized in sustainability, Corporate Knights, ranks the top 100 most sustainable companies in the world. The official ranking is released at the World Economic Forum, one of the most important economic and political meetings for almost 50 years. The magazine’s analysis includes an evaluation of more that 7500 different companies with over $1 million in revenues, through 21 key performance factors: innovation capacity, percentage of women on board, waste productivity, employee management and supplier performance.
The index is seen as one of the leading benchmarks for corporate sustainability world-wide, so being ranked is a valuable recognition. Moreover, according to the Branding Institute, the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Index is the best-ranking index of the world’s most sustainable corporations, for its relevant methodology, insight and trustworthiness.
The world’s most sustainable fashion luxury company is: Kering Group.
Beaten only by a Danish bioscence company, Chr. Hansen Holding, the French group has an overall score of 81,55% out of 100%. This nomination makes Kering the most sustainable company in the fashion industry and the second most sustainable company in the world. Kering’s brands Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Pomellato and Brioni have made luxury industry history. Now they are continuing to make history by introducing a new core value: sustainability.
The group has made an incredible effort last year, jumping from the 47th place in 2018 index to the 2nd. Inditex, founded by Amancio Ortega Zara owner, and Adidas are the only two other companies in the luxury, apparel and accessories industry which made the list with 54th place and 84th place respectively.
So why Kering, among all the others, has been named?
The group is crafting tomorrow’s luxury starting from three pillars that shape the French company’s 2025 Sustainability Strategy: Care, Collaborate, Create. These pillars have been included into the Environmental Profit & Loss, EP&L, which guides the company’s choices in order to reduce its environmental impact.
The EP&L is applied in three stages: establishment of environmental impacts, establishment of models for diverse and complex group operations and supply chains and support in decision-making. This work tool allows the group, from the beginning of the supply chain, to have insight on their cost impact, to highlight the challenges, the opportunities and understanding how the company can work on its environmental impact on the planet. The fashion industry is responsible of the 20% of global water waste and of 10% of carbon dioxide emissions, making it the second-most polluting sector in the world.
This circle has to be changed.
And Kering has been the first one in fashion luxury, across the entire group, to introduce working tools that can mark the supply chain and develop a better strategy for the company and for the planet, creating a “win-win deal.” The French company in fact acquired more than 40% of its products from sustainable certificated sources, and 60% of its board is made up of women.
“Luxury and sustainability are one and the same”
François-Henri Pinault, Kering president and CEO.
Posted and written by Martina Tarantini.
When Chanel speaks, the world listens.
And when Chanel bets, everyone follows the same direction.
Innovation and experimentation have always been driving forces throughout the brand’s history, seeking to reinvent and change continually, trying not to follow, but anticipating trends. To wrap up 2018 as a sector leader, on December 7th the French brand became the first one in luxury to go green on beauty, by becoming the biggesst investor in Sulapac Ltd. This Finnish startup was founded by two biochemists, Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen, in 2016, focusing the business on biodegradable packaging as an alternative to plastic.
This is not the only recent green move for the French brand. On November 4th it announced that its fashion lines will not use exotic leather such as crocodile, lizard, snake and parsnip in the future.
The sustainable materials used by Sulapac are microplastic-free and certificatedby FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), which recognizes products that come from forests with an environmentally responsible ma-aged supply chain.
The new frontier for sustainable packaging, before attracting Chanel’s attention, won several awards including the Green Alley Award and the EU’s Horizon 2020 subsidy for SMEs.
Today the idea of luxury is slightly changing, and customers demand not only exclusivity and tailor-made products, but ask for something more in exchange for their brand loyalty. Environmental sustainability is a topic that is becoming more and more important for consumers that now expect responsible corporate sustainability from luxury brands.
Rethinking eco-sustainable packaging in beauty makes Chanel stand out from the crowd and gives power to their long-term approach, as the company itself explains in its Report to Society: “Luxury is seen as a privilege for few, but it creates desire and beauty for many. Because of this, we believe that, as a luxury brand, the way we operate can and should represent the best in society. We are convinced that only an exemplary luxury brand that contributes in an exemplary way to a better world will remain desirable and relevant for all tomorrow”. Through this we can easily understand that Chanel’s long term strategy is made of several milestones. Using sustainable packaging, the goal is to diversify in a sector in which plastic is one of the main materials used. At the same time, the brand wants to communicate their core strategy, focused on excellence through environmental aspects, quality raw materials and positive social impact.
Even if the deal’s price was not disclosed, the financial transaction certainly less than one million euro — which is the total amount that Sulapac raised among their 7 investors. Considering that Chanel’s sales from Fashion, Fragrances & Beauty, and Watches & Fine jewelry amount to $9.6 billion, the sum invested in the Finnish company clearly gives them enormous advantages compared to the size of the deal. In fact, the brand awareness and reputation gained from this eco-sustainable move will enable it to increase the “exclusivity aura” that surrounds Chanel.
Now the questions are: how much time will Chanel need to put the sustainable packaging on the market? And how will the startup cope with sheer volume of the products that Chanel requires for its beauty production?
Will Chanel create his own sustainable packaging firm in the end?
Posted and written by Martina Tarantini