Biodiversity case study: Kering

Who is Kering?

Kering is a global luxury fashion and apparel company, comprising a wide range of brands such as Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent. In acknowledgement of the wide ranging effects that the textile and garment industry has on the environment and biodiversity, they set out to monitor, evaluate and reduce harm. They are committed to having a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2025, through regeneration and protection of a land area equal to six times the size of their own land footprint. 

How do they measure their impact on biodiversity?

By creating an innovative Environmental Profit & Loss account they were able to calculate the total land used by their products across the entire value chain which amounts to 350,000 hectares. Kering aims to complete their target through two methods. They will regenerate one million hectares of farms and rangelands in their own supply chains as well as restoring one million hectares of land outside their supply chain through reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and other initiatives. 

What plan have they put in place?

In order to deepen their understanding of how their business impacts on biodiversity they engaged with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to develop a Biodiversity Impact Metric (BIM). There are 4 stages to the biodiversity strategy starting with the highest priority.

Stage 1 – Avoidance of negative impacts

This means that the areas of highest ecological importance are excluded from their supply chains. For example, their brands do not use leather from farms involved in any sort of deforestation such in the Amazon rainforest. Strict sourcing standards ensure that traceability is maintained. 

Stage 2 – Reduction, where impacts cannot be avoided

Examples in this category include prioritising sourcing of organic cotton because of its 80% lower environmental impact compared to conventional cotton. They also aim to reduce reliance on virgin materials and increase sourcing of circular materials in their collections. 

Stage 3 – Restoration & Regeneration

Kering established the Kering for Nature Fund: One Million Hectares for the Planet to restore habitats where mining and other extractive activities occurred. This will protect an area three times larger than their total direct footprint by 2025. The Kering for Nature Fund will also support regenerative agriculture projects focussing on leather, cotton, wool and cashmere. 

Stage 4 -Transformation

To achieve a net positive biodiversity impact by 2025 Kering will extend their impact beyond their own supply chains.  They will protect one million hectares of land outside of their supply chain as well as through other programmes which offer co-benefits of biodiversity protection and carbon sequestration. 

Future plans

Kering aim to revolutionise the fashion industry through collaboration with other brands and to inspire actions beyond their own scope. CEO François-Henri Pinault continues to spearhead the Fashion Pact initiative across the industry, bringing together a third of global fashion businesses on collective action and pledges to reduce overall environmental harm along with specific biodiversity targets. The Fashion Pact aims to achieve zero deforestation across its 60 signatories and 250 brands by 2025. 

Their latest sustainability report shows they have achieved 68% alignment with these standards, on track for 100% by 2025. To continue from their initial Biodiversity strategy, Kering will develop an operational plan to facilitate ongoing monitoring of the commitments on an annual basis and to publicly report on their progress. Kering also aims to engage its 38,000 employees with biodiversity education, activities and projects such as bee-keeping clubs and citizen science initiatives. 
Find out more about the Kering Biodiversity Strategy