The principle global sustainability metric, the DJSI evaluates a company’s governance, economic, environmental and social performance as well as assessing supply chain management and climate change strategy. It is a trusted benchmark for investors who integrate ESG considerations into their decision-making and investments.
Burberry has been included in the 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the sixth consecutive year, achieving its highest ever score. Ranked second place overall in the ‘Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods’ sector, the British luxury company secured leading positions within the Product Stewardship and Social Reporting categories. Burberry has a longstanding commitment to sustainability, with social and environmental programmes in place for more than 16 years.
Two thirds of Burberry products make an environmental or social contribution, with a goal for all products to do so by 2022.
These can relate to a broad range of social and environmental programmes including, the amount of organic content or recycled natural fibres used in materials, delivery against carbon emissions standards at production facilities or social initiatives such as workers being paid the living wage or supported through wellbeing programmes.
In addition, Burberry holds targets to procure 100% of cotton more sustainably and source 100% of leather from tanneries with environmental, traceability and social compliance certifications by 2022. Currently, 75% of its cotton is procured more sustainably through a portfolio approach, which includes working with partners such as the BCI and Textile Exchange, as well as exploring new sources, including organic and regenerative cotton, and 64% of its leather is sourced from suppliers with such certifications.
Pam Batty, VP of corporate Responsibility at Burberry, said: “Product is at the very heart of our business, so I am particularly pleased of our leadership position in Product Stewardship, which recognises our progress in embedding sustainable design and manufacturing practices to ensure our products make positive social and environmental contributions. We believe ESG disclosure plays a key role in driving meaningful change, through sharing our progress and best practice we can help drive accountability, help others in our industry to improve and learn from our peers to build a more sustainable future.”
Be carbon neutral and revalue waste
During 2019/2020, Burberry reduced its market-based emissions by 86% (since base year 2016/17) and procured 83% of its total energy (90% of which electricity) from renewable sources. Burberry is now carbon neutral across 85% of its site globally, including the Americas region, its EMEIA and China retail stores and UK operations, and aims to be 100% carbon neutral by 2022.
In February 2020, Burberry announced the creation of its Regeneration Fund designed to support a portfolio of carbon offsetting and insetting projects to directly tackle the environmental impact of its operations. The new insetting projects will be implemented within Burberry’s own supply chain and will work to promote biodiversity, facilitate the restoration of ecosystems and support the livelihoods of local producers, as well as storing carbon at source and removing it from the atmosphere. Kick-starting the programme, Burberry has partnered with PUR Projet to design and implement regenerative agricultural practices with some of its wool producers in Australia. The project will work at farm level to improve carbon capture in soils, improve watershed and soil health, reduce dryland salinity and promote biodiverse habitats.
Burberry is also committed to supporting the people and communities that sustain the luxury industry by driving social and economic empowerment, providing access to arts education and promoting community cohesion.
In 2020, Burberry strengthened its community support by expanding its creative arts scholarships for underrepresented students to world renowned institutions in London, New York and Paris, while the Burberry Foundation widened its in-school arts and culture programme Burberry Inspire to the US. The Burberry Foundation is also working in partnership with Oxfam and PUR Projet on a programme in Afghanistan to create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable cashmere industry.