Kering Honored For Environmental Leadership

Kering's headquarters in Paris.

Kering's headquarters in Paris.

Kering has once again been recognized for its environmental leadership and ability to reduce fashion’s carbon footprint. The company, which owns brands including Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga, has been named as the world’s most sustainable apparel, luxury and textile goods business by the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 index, and was ranked 47th in an overall listing of companies.

This is the third consecutive year that Kering has appeared on the list, which was published at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, and the company is only one of two in the fashion industry to have been named in the rankings. “Inclusion in Corporate Knights’ 2018 Global 100 as the most sustainable corporation in the textile, apparel and luxury sector is truly an honor for Kering, and a source of motivation to continue our pursuit of a more sustainable luxury,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, the company’s chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs.

Kering was one of 7,425 companies evaluated by the index, which measures corporations against an overall benchmark that factors in various elements of environmental sustainability, working conditions and leadership diversity, and the top 100 represent the top 2 per cent of companies in the world for sustainability performance.

Recent initiatives undertaken by Kering's individual brands include a new circular roadmap for apparel that offers suggestions for fashion’s current take-make-dispose model, launched by Stella McCartney with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and Gucci’s pledge to protect animals and go fur-free as a part of the company's corporate social responsibility drive.

But it was last year when the firm unveiled its program aimed at reducing its environmental footprint, with a target of a 40 per cent reduction by 2025. This focuses on three pillars: care, which pertains to the environment; collaborate, for social aspects of sustainability such as employee, supplier and community welfare and equality, and create, which encompasses new business opportunities. It has also previously published a guide about sourcing organic cotton and incorporating the material into apparel supply chains, introduced at the Textile Exchange conference in Washington last autumn, which offers detailed best practices for a more responsible organic cotton trade, including boosting uptake of organic cotton, supporting organic cotton farmers and fostering a more eco-conscious product mindset for consumers.