Kering and sustainability: how they got in the Global 100 Index

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Last month Kering has been named the most sustainable textile, apparel and luxury goods corporation in the world, according to the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 index.

 

The rank, published every year by the World Economic Forum in Davos, has been including Kering for three years. In order to be included in the Global 100, corporations have to meet the requirements of 17 quantitative key performance indicators. If they do, they enter the top 2% in the world as far as sustainability performance is concerned.

 

The award didn’t come as a surprise, since Kering has always been concerned about environmental, ethical, and social sustainability and considers it as one of their corporate core values.

 

The three pillars of their business strategy for 2025 have been shared on the company website: “care, collaborate, create”. The three concepts have been described as follows: “CARE about our impact on the planet, on climate change, on natural resources; COLLABORATE for the good of our employees, suppliers, clients; CREATE pioneering ideas to safeguard our rich heritage, and empower future generations”.

 

In order to implement its strategy towards sustainability, Kering has developed a specific tool called Environmental Profit & Loss. EP&L is meant to make “the invisible impacts of business visible, quantifiable and comparable”: since we are not living in a world in which resources are infinite and costless, being aware of the externalities related to the supply chain becomes crucial. Environmental impact has to be understood, and therefore reduced to a minimum.

 

Kering has decided to disclose the EP&L methodology on their website so that everybody can discover it. Making it open source is a choice rooted in the corporate belief that setting a common ground of priorities and actions among related industries is essential to achieve full sustainability.

 

The strenght of EP&L is that it is able to translate environmental impacts into monetary terms, which results in considering environmental costs as business costs, emphasizing the importance of sustainability. EP&L can help highlight inefficiencies and inspire advancement: it improves corporate insight underlining impacts and their drivers (e.g. sources of materials, processes); inspires a greater understanding of risks and opportunities; and suggests better guidelines, policies and targets.

 

EP&L is also useful in improving the engagement with suppliers, suggesting common grounds on which facing together the major environmental challenges. Transparency is another outcome: opening a dialogue with stakeholders helps suppliers identify opportunities for change and innovation.

 

The Kering experience demonstrates that pursuing sustainability pays back: following an ethical, environmental-friendly strategy can also help to assess investments and enhance productive performances. Taking their cue could increase awareness and create more value for customers, stakeholders and shareholders.