Inside Burberry's environmental protection strategy, as revealed in Walpole's British Luxury Sustainability Report. With a longstanding commitment to placing sustainability at the heart of its future growth, Burberry has a robust strategy to lower its environmental footprint, implementing company-wide programmes and collaborating across the wider sector to help transform the way apparel is designed, made and consumed.

By 2022, it aims to become carbon neutral within its own operations and aims to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2040. The company is also committed to driving positive change through 100% of its product portfolio by advancing sustainable materials and practices. In 2020, Burberry became the first of its luxury peers to issue a sustainability bond, enlisting the support of investors in delivering its sustainability goals.

A net-zero future

Burberry’s net-zero carbon journey is guided by science-based targets, both within its own operations and across its supply chain. To achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2040, it will take action to reduce absolute emissions, including by improving energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy sources, before offsetting or insetting any remaining emissions. As a member of RE100, Burberry has already made strides on using more renewable electricity, and is 90% of the way towards achieving an operation entirely powered by renewables by 2022. Overall, it has achieved an 82% reduction in market-based emissions since 2016/17 and is recognised by CDP’s 2020 ‘A list’ for its action on climate change.

Balancing emissions

Through the Burberry Regeneration Fund, the brand supports a portfolio of carbon offsetting and insetting projects within its supply chain to tackle the environmental impact of its operations. The projects will help to promote biodiversity and carbon sequestration, restore ecosystems and support the livelihoods of local producers.

The first insetting initiative has seen Burberry partner with sustainable supply chain sustainability specialist PUR Project to help its Australian wool farmers to adopt regenerative agricultural practices.

Creating a positive impact through products

Burberry is also focusing on achieving improvements at the raw material sourcing and product manufacturing stages, so that 100% of its products make a positive social or environmental contribution. Called ‘positive attributes’, these include delivery against carbon emissions standards at production facilities or the use of recycled materials.

Currently, 89% of Burberry products have at least one positive attribute, and 67% have more than one.

Burberry is also engaging its creative community through training on circular design and has hosted a range of product disassembly workshops to help teams better understand how the lives of its products can be extended. As a founding signatory of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, Burberry helped shape the vision for circular fashion and is a contributor to the Foundation’s Circular Design Guide for Fashion, a valuable resource for the fashion and textiles industry.

Collaborating for change

To achieve meaningful impact at scale and help transform the apparel sector, Burberry participates in a number of collaborations, such as helping to drive demand for renewable energy through RE100 and being a founding signatory of the UN Fashion Charter for Climate Action. Burberry is also a board member of the Fashion Pact and the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals group.

What's next? 

Building on its achievements to date, Burberry is now planning towards 2040 by building an in-depth roadmap that encompasses the evolving challenges and climate risks to its business, communities and the planet.

From The Walpole

October 25, 2021