Monday, December 5, 2022

The Neiman Marcus Journey to Revolutionize Impact ESG Report

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Neiman Marcus is taking a big step toward a sustainable, equitable future, as detailed in its first ESG report.

A commitment to sustainability, equity, and diversity is “an essential part” of luxury retailer Neiman Marcus’s future, the company said as it launched its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.

“As a leader in luxury retail, ESG is an essential part of our growth roadmap, and we’re excited to share our inaugural progress report,” Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Chief Executive Officer, Neiman Marcus Group (NMG), said in a statement.

“‘Our Journey to Revolutionize Impact‘ for our communities is one of our top priorities, and we believe our strategy of advancing sustainable products and services, cultivating a culture of Belonging, and leading with love in our communities will help pave this journey.”

Sustainability

The report outlines key metrics, including the reduction Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50 percent over its 2019 baseline by 2025. The retailer says it will also assess its Scope 3 emissions this year to better understand its position and “chart a path toward a net-zero goal.”

Neiman Marcus says it’s aiming to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, joining the RE100 global initiative that sees the world’s most influential businesses commit to 100 percent renewable electricity.

Increasing its sustainable and ethical products by 2025 is expected to play a significant role in the retailer’s future; it operates 29 U.S. locations, including the luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman. Neiman Marcus was one of the last holdouts to drop fur, finally announcing it would go fur-free last year. It says it’s now launching two new Sustainability Edits across Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman “that identify multiple categories within sustainable and ethical fashion to help shoppers make informed purchasing decisions and shop in line with their values.”

Image courtesy Neiman Marcus

Last November, NMG became the first luxury retailer to join the Textile Exchange. The nonprofit is a driver behind sustainable textile industry standards.

“Now more than ever, environmental sustainability is top of mind for fashion and retail industries. NMG is taking action and driving change while we continue to revolutionize the ultimate luxury experience,” van Raemdonck said. 

The retailer is also building on its aftercare services, aiming to extend the life of more than one million luxury items by 2025 through mending, alterations, restoration, resale, and donation. Its partnership with Fashionphile, the white glove luxury resale service offered in select stores is expected to play a large part in that.

Resale and repair are two booming categories aimed at making fashion more sustainable by promoting circularity. Last week, Rent the Runway announced its plans to become more sustainable through carbon offsets on all transactions and carbon neutral targets. Two of the biggest secondhand luxury platforms, The Vestiaire Collective and Tradesy, announced last week that they were increasing their market with the acquisition of Tradesy by Vestiaire Collective, the French-owned resale platform valued at more than $1 billion.

Aftercare is also playing a key role in moving the fashion industry toward circularity. Prince Charles has long championed repair, and luxury brands including Burberry and Manolo Blahnik recently expanded their aftercare repair services aimed at extending product life.

Diversity

A women-majority-led organization, the Neiman Marcus Group says its increasing racial diversity across its leadership roles to the Vice President level. It’s aiming to hit 21 percent by 2025 and 28 percent by 2030, working with groups including McKinsey’s Connected Leaders Academy, Prospanica, and Fashion Scholarship Fund to develop and attract top BIPOC talent.

In 2021, NMG completed its first Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, earning a top score of 100/100, earning a spot on the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality list.

The company says it’s also introducing 16 weeks paid parental leave and will invest in a new pay equity study.

In February, Neiman Marcus paid tribute to the late Louis Vuitton designer, Virgil Abloh, with window displays at more than a dozen locations. The retailer also announced a partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund on the Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund for Black talent, launched in 2020.

It’s also looking at its corporate giving strategy, aimed at ensuring the organization’s values and purpose guide its decision-making for all funding. Neiman Marcus says it will partner with its customers to raise $3 million for charity through its Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. It’s also aiming to increase its associates giving and volunteerism, and support disaster preparedness.

“NMG’s first-ever ESG Report is an opportunity for us to demonstrate the true impact Neiman’s has had on the lives of our customers, associates, brand partners, and the communities in which we do business,” said Eric Severson, Chief People & Belonging Officer, Neiman Marcus Group. “Our culture, the NMG|Way, aims to make life extraordinary for everyone in our ecosystem, and we believe this can be achieved by our holistic approach to creating a positive impact.”

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