Monday, May 20, 2024

LVMH, Chanel Partner to Tackle Scope 3 Emissions: ‘The Name of the Game From Now On’

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At its UNESCO Life 360 Summit today, French luxury conglomerate LVMH showcased its sustainability achievements and efforts including a joint effort with Chanel to tackle Scope 3 emissions.

The LVMH Life 360 summit served as a platform to review the group’s environmental achievements and highlight its supply chain initiatives. The luxury group also unveiled a new support plan and partnership with Chanel aimed at bolstering its suppliers in their environmental efforts.

Antoine Arnault inaugurated the Life 360 Summit, marking the start of an ambitious environmental campaign. The centerpiece of this campaign is the ‘Life 360 Business Partners’ program. This initiative is designed to help suppliers reduce their environmental impact, particularly in raw materials and transportation. The program aims to tackle Scope 3 emissions, which constitute 95 percent of LVMH’s carbon footprint, and addresses water and biodiversity impacts.

“The name of the game from now on for us is going to be Scope 3,” Arnault told WWD. “It’s the part of our mission that we control the least by definition; however, we are going to try to help our suppliers and our partners be more active on this topic — to train them, and to invest with them in their transition,” he said.

Hélène Valade, Director of Environmental Development at LVMH, emphasized the significance of supplier engagement in tackling Scope 3 emissions. “Scope 3 emissions, mainly from raw materials and transportation, account for over 90 percent of our overall environmental footprint. These emissions encompass those arising from both the upstream and downstream aspects of our value chain, rather than from assets we own or control, making them the most challenging to reduce,” she said. “To achieve our ambitious scope 3 goals, which not only target carbon emissions but also address water and biodiversity impacts, supplier engagement is essential.”

Dior Fall 2022 collection
Dior’s Fall 2022 collection | Courtesy

LVMH’s maisons, which include Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Christian Dior, are already aiding their suppliers in adopting eco-friendly practices across all environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Starting next year, the company says it will organize dedicated sessions to understand suppliers’ environmental objectives and requirements. A knowledge-sharing portal will also be established to facilitate the exchange of solutions, expertise, regulatory updates, and environmental training programs.

Part of its new efforts include a collaboration with Chanel to synchronize ESG efforts as well as reporting and auditing of suppliers.

“These are collective challenges,” Chanel SAS president Bruno Pavlovsky told WWD of the shared suppliers for key luxury brands. “Only defined alliances will allow us to help the upstream transform,” he said.

Pavlovsky said there is also an economic challenge. “Right now, cotton from regenerative agriculture which meets all the correct criteria will cost more than bottom-of-the-range cotton, so collectively
we need to accept that that is the case. I believe that it is clearly by creating alliances and working together on a defined subject that we will be able to make progress,” he added.

Bernard Arnault said the environmental challenge “redefines the usual rules of competition.”

“I believe it is our duty to know how to rise above the usual patterns. This is why we have chosen to invite certain competitors today,” he added. “Progress of any kind is crucial. We must join forces.”

An integral part of this initiative is the Life Academy, which is accessible to suppliers. It will host specialized working groups focusing on regenerative agriculture to share best practices among breeders and farmers. The company’s purchasing department is proactively collaborating with partners to devise strategies for reducing carbon footprints.

Louis Vuitton
Courtesy Louis Vuitton

The summit also showcased LVMH’s various environmental initiatives, such as repairing 600,000 Louis Vuitton products annually, reusing unsold materials, and promoting regenerative agriculture programs. These actions reflect LVMH’s leadership in combining luxury and sustainability.

LVMH’s commitment to environmental sustainability was further underlined at the UNESCO-hosted event, attended by prominent figures including French Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion Christophe Béchu, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, and LVMH’s leadership team. This event also served as a three-year review of the Life 360 plan, outlining objectives in circularity, traceability, biodiversity, and climate preservation set for 2023, 2026, and 2030. While confident about meeting its 2026 and 2030 goals, LVMH acknowledges that achieving zero virgin fossil plastic by 2026 requires intensified efforts starting this year.

“Action for climate and biodiversity will only be effective if it is seen as a real industrial strategy, said Bernard Arnault. “The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions cannot be improvised. The protection
of biodiversity cannot be improvised. The shift in the agricultural model means that regenerative agriculture cannot be improvised. All these objectives can only be achieved through thoughtful, documented strategies,” he said.

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