Kering’s chief sustainability officer explains “environmental profit and loss accounting”
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Kering’s chief sustainability officer explains “environmental profit and loss accounting”

Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering’s chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs, recently visited Hong Kong to launch a report outlining the challenges to the luxury sector posed by climate change, new technologies and economic inequality. While there, she took the time to give reporters an insight into how the multi-brand luxury conglomerate has achieved its reputation as an environmental leader in the luxury space, particularly the Environmental Profit and Loss tool – which she created.

Kering’s share price has risen by 32% so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

Daveu says she took the job at Kering in 2012, after a meeting with its CEO, Francois-Henri Pinault, convinced her that the company was serious about environmentalism. She explains:

“When Mr Pinault decided to go on this journey, it was very clear that it wasn’t about selling more products. When you buy a luxury product, it’s not just for two months, so the idea of sustainability is already ingrained within the DNA of the product itself. Sustainability for us is not just a matter of ethics but also about creating business opportunities. It’s a way to stimulate innovation and creativity and to be sure that in a few years we can continue our business. It’s our responsibility to show we can be successful and at the same time pay attention to planet and people. An eco-resilient business model is necessary for longevity.”

In her time at Kering thus far, Daveu’s crowning glory has been the development of the Environmental Profit and Loss tool (EPL). This tool values the environmental impact of a business across its entire supply chain and translates it into monetary terms. It has led Kering to reconsider where it sources raw materials and adopt greater efficiency with its supply chains. In a few cases, it’s even seen the company replace traditional materials with alternatives that have a lower impact on the world around us. Daveu says:

“Inside the company it’s been really powerful because we now know, in order of magnitude, where the greatest [environmental] impacts are. We discovered that less than 7 per cent were linked with our own operations and over 93 per cent were outside our boundaries in the supply chain. From this we are able to put key programmes in place, whether it’s with cotton suppliers or even further down the chain [at places like] cattle farms.”

Dominion holds Kering in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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