Nomen omen, the destiny of whoever owns it is kept in the name. An ancient phrase, which in 2013 helped to inspire the evolution of the PPR group, when it decided to change its strategy, focusing on the luxury segment, and together with its name: “Kering” evoked the verb caring, in English “to take care”, and the owl in the new logo evoked the animal symbol of foresight, symbol of the ancient goddess Athena. A year earlier, Marie-Claire Daveu had been appointed responsible for the group’s sustainable development, a department that was already born in 2003, when sustainability was a term almost relegated to the scientific community.
In “taking care” of the world‘s second largest luxury group, with revenues of 20.4 billion euros in 2022, there was also the launch, five years ago, of “Crafting Tomorrow’s Luxury”, a road map of objectives and strategies for reduce the group’s environmental impact by 2025: «At the same time as the launch of our strategy, we decided that every two years we would publish an update on the objectives achieved, but also on the more complicated aspects and the most urgent challenges – says Daveu -. It’s a question of credibility: you have to be able to bring measurable data on a regular basis».
After the first update for the 2017-2020 period, the one relating to 2020-2023 was released on Wednesday, which highlights the achievement of important results: «For example, the group uses energy from 100% renewable sources – continues the manager -. The goal of 100% traceability of our materials is close, we are at 95%. But above all, we have already achieved the 40% cut in our emissions in 2021, set for 2025. And now, given that the effects of climate change are spreading at great speed, we have raised our ambitions once again: we want to reduce our impact another 40% by 2035.
The directions of this strategy are multifaceted: «For example, we will focus on regenerative agriculture, we will use artificial intelligence to define production and monitor inventory and brand sell-through more effectively – adds Daveu -. We will prioritize the value of our products over their volume, investing in their quality and durability. We will further improve the level of traceability of raw materials, we will invest in the research of alternative materials and in circularity (as demonstrated by the launch of the Gucci Circular Hub in February, nda), developing new services and channels: for example, working on brand archives (as already happened with Gucci Vault and Bottega Series, nda), on repairability, developing the second hand, which is why in 2021 we decided to invest in Vestiaire Collective (acquiring a 5% stake, nda)».
Given that the most urgent challenge is the lack of time, Daveu continues, we need to focus on collaboration, «mobilising energies even beyond the perimeter of Kering, because if we want to change the paradigm, we cannot do it alone». In this sense goes the launch in 2019 of the Fashion Pact, an initiative to protect the planet which today includes over 250 fashion and textile companies, but also more recent plans, such as the 300 million “Climate Fund for Nature”, created together with L’Occitane, and the “Regenerative Fund for Nature”, to bring regenerative agriculture practices to 1 million hectares distributed throughout the world: “We have already involved 840,000 hectares in six countries, with benefits for over 60,000 people”. notes the manager. And in this process, Italy is and will be increasingly crucial: «92% of our suppliers are based in Europe, 84% in Italy. So yes, we can say that our sustainability is largely born in your country».