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Burberry Becomes the First Luxury Fashion Brand to Receive SBTi Approval for Net-Zero Emissions Goal

Photo: Darrel Hunter

Burberry is the first luxury fashion company to receive approval for its net-zero emissions target by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The SBTi is considered the gold standard for companies setting goals to reduce their emissions and develop targets in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 C pathway. It was developed in partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“Burberry’s net-zero targets match the urgency of the climate crisis and set a clear example that their peers must follow,” said SBTi CEO Luiz Amaral in a statement. “Climate science tells us that we need rapid and deep emissions cuts if we are to achieve global net-zero and prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.”

Experts say it’s critical that companies follow up on their targets and invest in technologies and research to reduce emissions. Burberry has a number of commitments to reduce scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions to uphold its net-zero emissions goal. That includes a 95% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions (generated from Burberry’s own operations) by 2023 compared to 2017, maintaining this reduced level through to 2040. On scope 3 emissions, those generated at supply chain level, the biggest portion of fashion’s carbon footprint and the most challenging to tackle, Burberry has committed to reducing by 46.2% compared to 2019 and by 90% from 2019 to 2040.

Burberry was one of the first luxury companies to join the SBTi in 2019. Other signatories include Kering, Richemont, Prada, and LVMH. While other companies such as Chanel and Hermès have received approval from SBTi for their emission reduction goals, Burberry’s targets for net-zero emissions are a first in the industry. The British luxury brand is currently carbon-neutral across all global operations, and in June 2021, it set the target to become climate positive by 2040.

“Rooting our commitments in science has always been a priority at Burberry, so we can ensure the steps we are taking will have the necessary impact and bring about lasting change,” said Burberry VP of corporate responsibility, Caroline Laurie. “We continue to challenge ourselves to drive measurement, improvement, and transparency across our operations, and we are committed to continue working with our suppliers and partners to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable practices. We hope this encourages others to do the same.”

Originally published in

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