Burberry announces today that it pledges to become the first Climate Positive luxury brand by 2040. This development follows the house’s original pledge to be net-zero by 2040. “I have always had a very deep, emotional connection to nature,” states Riccardo Tisci, chief creative officer at Burberry. “It has a power and a purity that gives you a sense of coming back to yourself and of what is really important in life. I am so proud that as a company we are making these inspiring steps to protect our beautiful planet and the future for our next generations.”
Burberry, a British house founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry and which holds two Royal Warrants (1955 and 1990), commits to cutting emissions across its extended supply chain by 46% by 2030 and developing projects which support others in their respective carbon journeys. It also announces its support for the Fashion Avengers, a coalition of global fashion organizations that have come together to inspire action towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Burberry VP of Corporate Responsibility Pamela Batty discuses the pledge with Vogue Arabia
What does “climate positive” actually mean?
Becoming Climate Positive means going one step further than our existing 2040 net-zero pledge. To achieve this, we will not only work to reduce emissions within our own value chain, but we will also invest in initiatives and projects that support wider climate change efforts beyond our business – including programs that protect and restore natural ecosystems that remove carbon from the atmosphere – which we hope will have a lasting positive environmental impact for future generations.
Can you list some of the major challenges that will make this a 19-year process?
There are several challenges associated with reaching Climate Positive. It requires real system change, but this can be solved by collective action and industry collaboration, which is why we’re calling on the rest of the industry to join us in accelerating our shared efforts. We’ll also focus on supporting the many businesses in our supply chain who will be essential to what we’re trying to achieve, and constantly stepping up how we measure and report on our progress.
Finally, it’s crucial that we continue to adapt to what our customers want and expect from us, all while continuing to meet our targets. We see this as an opportunity for innovation and creativity: to find new ways to produce items our customers love while also protecting the planet.
What is the Burberry Regeneration Fund?
The Burberry Regeneration Fund was set up in 2020 to support a number of carbon offsetting and insetting projects, which enable us to store carbon and promote biodiversity, facilitate the restoration of ecosystems and support the livelihoods of local producers. Rather than simply purchasing offsets to cancel out our impact, we invest in insetting projects, reducing our emissions and storing carbon at source in our own supply chain.
For our inaugural project, we are partnering with PUR Project to design and implement regenerative agricultural practices with its wool producers in Australia. The project works at farm level to improve carbon capture in soils, improve watershed and soil health and promote biodiverse habitats.
You have stated that this is a bold new standard for luxury. Does this mean that no other luxury brand has a project on par?
To our knowledge, we’re the only luxury fashion brand to have set ourselves a climate positive and net zero target by 2040. Our hope is that following our pledge, others in the industry will feel inspired to follow suit and take action to decarbonize the industry and align with the Paris Agreement. That’s why we’re active in several networks which aim to drive bolder and faster progress – like the UNFCCC’s Fashion Charter, the G7 Fashion pact, and the UN Race to Zero.