As an industry pioneer, Burberry aims to be climate positive by 2040

The luxury company announces changes in its own supply chain and promotes future-oriented projects. Is the new goal realistic or too ambitious?

Burberry climate positive by 2040
Source & Copyright by Burberry Group Plc

Author: Vivien Vollmer

    • As a pioneer in the luxury industry, Burberry plans to be climate-positive by 2040
    • Climate-positivity requires great efforts from Burberry
    • The target of reducing emissions in the extended supply chain will be increased to 46%
    • External projects are also supported through new investments and collaboration

Burberry wants to be the first luxury brand to be climate positive

The British fashion group had set itself the goal to produce carbon neutral by 2022. The next step towards sustainability is already being pushed. This time, the company does not want to follow a trend, but rather to start and lead it. Marco Gobbetti, CEO of Burberry, proudly says: "Drawing on this legacy of exploration and driven by our creative spirit, we are setting ourselves a new, ambitious goal today: We want to be climate positive by 2040."

While competitors like Gucci already act in a climate-neutral way by its own account, Burberry is the first luxury brand with the aim of a climate-positive CO2 balance. Compared to the previous initiative "ReBurberry", this time the brand goes one step further and extends its sustainability concept to external stakeholders.

However, are such ambitions realistic?

Julia Leifert, fashion designer & sustainability expert finds clear words about Burberry's project: "Unfortunately, until now there has been no uniform conception of how much CO2 has to be saved in order to have a positive impact on the environment. The range of estimates ranges from approx. 20%-80%. Burberry's ambition is an important and strong sign for the fashion industry. However, it remains open of how much compensation is ultimately possible in the company and how much should be compensated in the form of purchased certificates. As a global company, it will not be easy to become climate-positive. But it will be even more difficult for the customer to understand whether the efforts actually have a positive influence or whether they only sound good in the first place. "

Reduction of CO2 emissions and carbon capturing

The complexity of supply chains is and will remain one of the greatest challenges on the way to more sustainability in the fashion industry. This is exactly where Burberry comes in. In order to keep his promise, the entire value chain is included in the sustainability plans. To this end, the goal of reducing emissions in the extended supply chain will be increased from the current 30% to 46% by 2030.

In addition, the "Burberry Regeneration Fund" is to be used to invest in future emission-reducing solutions and nature-based projects. This also includes investing in innovative carbon storage projects, ie capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and subsequently storing it permanently.

Forest of Change at Somerset House, Source and Copyright by Burberry Group Plc

Projects support Sustainable Development Goals

Beyond the boundaries of its own organization, Burberry has announced that it will support sustainable initiatives and projects. This support goes, among other things, to the merger of international fashion organizations, the so-called "Fashion Avengers". The network pursues the common vision, to create inspiration and progress for the global United Nations Goals (SDG).

In addition, the luxury brand is actively involved in the UN Global Goals installation "Forest for Change", which can be seen in the courtyard of Somerset House in London until June 27, 2021. With the campaign, the British designer Es Devlin draws attention to the goals of the UN agenda.

In summary, Burberry is making a mark with its announcement within the luxury industry. The planned transformation of the company's own supply chains is particularly positive. In the future, however, transparency is above all required. Nevertheless, the target for 2040 is still a long way in the future.

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