Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Kering: 'Don’t use the word sustainability'

Unlocking communication has been the key for the current global mindset shift around sustainability, Kering director of sustainability Michael Beutler argued at today’s Drapers Sustainable Fashion Forum.

Michael beutler kering

“Sustainability has really matured in how we communicate,” Beutler told delegates. “In the beginning it was a difficult topic – people saw it as a constraint and us as the cops.

“Now our design teams are often pushing harder than our sustainability people because they have the fervour of wanting to effect change through their designs.”

Beutler believes the mindset towards sustainability to be at a turning point. When questioned on advice for companies beginning their sustainability journey, he said it was about the resonance of the issue.

“Don’t use the word sustainability,” he advised. “Make it relevant for the ordinary person who isn’t practising it, and something that resonates with them.”

Agreeing with Sally Uren’s earlier talk, Beutler raised that companies’ performance need to be measured by different metrics going forward.

He said: “When you look at brands, the measure of success is sales and how good you are front of house, and that’s what CEOs are compensated on. What people don’t look at is the back of house and supply chain.”

To combat this, Kering launched its environmental profit and loss account (EP&L) in 2012: “We mapped out all of the manufacturing processes that we do across all of our business units. We then looked at the different footprint and choices that we could make along the way so that we can offer these to brands in their selection and say what the impact is.

“We are able to put this in business terms by monetising it and say how many euros of [negative] impact it will have, saying, ‘If you were to write a cheque to nature, what would that intrinsic value be?”

Kering has set a target to reduce this value by 40% across its brands by 2025 – it has currently achieved 10%.

“You will see a lot more of our brands talking about their individual sustainable achievements in the next year or two,” Beutler said. “However, by setting a position as a group, it creates the wave for our brands to follow.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.