Richemont highlights sustainable development progress
Richemont is firmly committed to sustainable development. The Swiss luxury group, owner among others of jewellery brand Cartier and fashion label Chloé, underlined its progress in this area with the publication of its annual sustainability report, also in the wake of two key appointments made earlier this year.
In February, Richemont introduced for the first time the post of chief sustainability office, appointing Bérangère Ruchat. It then named Jasmine Whitbread as head of the group’s governance and sustainability committee. Whitbread joined Richemont’s board in 2021, as non-executive director.
“We continued to accelerate our sustainable development efforts throughout fiscal 2021-22, meeting our short, medium and long-term objectives. With the arrival of Bérangère Ruchat and Jasmine Whitbread, we have strengthened our sustainability commitment and we are laying the groundwork for first-rate environmental and social progress in our operations and supply chains,” said group CFO Burkhart Grund in a press release.
Richemont closed fiscal 2021-22 with a net profit of €2 billion (up by 61%) and a revenue of €19.181 billion (up by 44%), and in the report it confirmed its ambitious objectives in terms of environmental impact reduction. Notably, Richemont intends to use 100% renewable electricity at all its sites by 2025. Currently, the group’s renewal energy share stands at 92%. It also stated that it is “on track to remove polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from its products and packaging by December 2022.”
Richemont indicated that it has made donations worth in total €42 million to support social utility projects in the fields of health, social and economic development, and the education and welfare of women and children. The group’s financial commitment in this respect grew by 17% over the previous year, and by 40% in the last five years.
Richemont also published the results of its first product social impact assessment (PSIA), relating to small-scale artisanal gold mining. A policy that has enabled Richemont to assess specific operators and measure their individual performance in terms of community and human rights, as the group indicated. The goal is to achieve 100% wage equality by 2024.
The group’s sustainability advances are especially evident in the transformation undergone by Chloé, which made a complete U-turn in the summer of 2020, committing to sustainable manufacturing under the aegis of Creative Director Gabriela Hearst. As Richemont pointed out, Chloé was the first luxury label, in October 2021, to be awarded B-Corp certification, one of the most demanding in terms of measuring the social and environmental impact of consumer brands.
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