The luxury British fashion brand has pledged its support towards positive climate action and will ‘protect, restore and regenerate nature’ with its new biodiversity strategy, unveiled at COP26.
The new biodiversity strategy comes after their latest revelation of being on track to be fully carbon-neutral by 2022, building upon their recent commitment in June to officially become climate positive by 2040. The designer brand will expand the scope of its current initiatives with a new nature-based approach that focuses on their own value chain to help slow global-warming and transition towards the 1.5°C goal as set out in the Paris Agreement.
Dr. Gerry Murphy, chair of Burberry, said: “Climate change is not just a future environmental risk, it’s a socio-economic crisis that is impacting millions around the world today.
“Protecting, restoring and regenerating nature is key to safeguarding the planet for generations to come, and we must be ambitious in our intentions and action-orientated in our approach.
“Burberry’s biodiversity strategy will not only address impacts in our own extended operations, but also help to create new systems to reduce biodiversity loss in the world’s greatest areas of need, making a meaningful contribution to global conservation efforts.”
The new biodiversity strategy encompasses three focus areas: to protect and restore nature within and outside of Burberry’s own value chain through projects supported via the Burberry Regeneration Fund; to expand support for farming communities by intensifying existing efforts around farm-level certifications and training where Burberry sources raw materials; and developing regenerative supply chains by applying holistic land management practices to grazing or farming systems.
The strategy will align to their existing ‘ARRRT’ framework that covers four key impact areas, building upon Burberry’s long-established programmes:
- Avoid: continuing efforts within Burberry and across the extended supply chain to avoid negative impacts on biodiversity, conservation or the environment.
- Reduce: reducing the impact on biodiversity through the responsible sourcing of key raw materials and ensuring these are traceable, certified or recycled by 2025.
- Restore & Regenerate: restoring ecosystems within the value chain and working with partners like Land to Market at the Savory Institute and the Sustainable Fibre Alliance.
- Transform: accelerating solutions to drive change and protect vulnerable ecosystems through active participation in The Fashion Pact and UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
As part of the new strategy, Burberry has partnered with The Biodiversity Consultancy to identify the brand’s highest ecological impacts: leather, cashmere and wool. To reduce these impacts, they will apply Nature Based Solution Principles and Guidelines, developed alongside The Biodiversity Consultancy, to projects funded by the Burberry Regeneration Fund to help ensure natural ecosystems are protected, restored and regenerated.
For its inaugural insetting project, Burberry has partnered with PUR Project to implement a regenerative agricultural programme with wool producers in Australia; working at farm level to improve carbon capture in soils, strengthen watershed and soil health and promote biodiverse habits. In addition, beyond its value chain, Burberry have announced they are the first luxury brand to sign up to the LEAF Coalition, with an investment what is expected to become the world’s first largest public-private initiative, providing results-based finance to countries committed to making ambitious reductions in tropical deforestation.
Climate change isn’t going away, to see influential brands like Burberry exploring new ways of being more conscious and making substantial changes is exciting. We’re seeing more and more labels shifting towards sustainable approaches and this trend is here to stay.