Burberry Plans to Become Climate Positive By 2040

Burberry has pledged to become Climate Positive by 2040. Targets include lowering CO2 emissions across their supply chain, as well as endeavouring into projects that will actively help restore ecosystems.

Credit: Forbes

Burberry is making history. On June 10th, the iconic British fashion house became the first luxury brand to announce its explicit commitment and ambition to be Climate Positive by 2040.

“As a company, we are united by our passion for being a force for good in the world. By strengthening our commitment to sustainability, we are going further in helping protect our planet for generations to come”

 said Marco Gobbeti, Chief Executive Officer at Burberry.

Burberry’s Goals Within the Business

Burberry has committed to reducing emissions across its supply chain by 46% by 2030. Guided by climate science, the brand also plans to become net-zero by 2040, putting them 10 years ahead of the 1.5°C pathway set out in the Paris Agreement

Gobbetti told Vogue,

“We were one of the first luxury companies to set science-based targets and we are on track to becoming carbon neutral in our own operations next year.

“Yet, we know more is needed to tackle the impact of global warming and climate change.”

To do so, the company has established the Burberry Regeneration Fund. The fund intends to accelerate low-carbon future solutions and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They also aim to empower and serve vulnerable communities and livelihoods.

Credit: Discreet Collectors

Burberry’s Initiatives Beyond the Brand

The fashion house has gone a step further by committing to also reduce additional CO2 emissions in the world outside the business. The British label has promised to create and invest in projects to restore and protect natural ecosystems.

Yet this focus on sustainability is nothing out of the blue for Burberry. Everything the brand has been working on recently shows its focus, with 10 programs already in place.

Currently, the brand sources 93 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, aiming for 100% by next year. On top of that, all of Burberry’s events have been certified carbon neutral since 2019. The label also held its first carbon-neutral runway show at the start of last year.

Pamela Batty, Burberry’s vice president for corporate responsibility explains to Vogue,

“The climate positive messaging that we have around the commitments we’re making very much says how we would like the fashion industry to be a positive force in the world as opposed to creating the negative impacts that it currently does.”

The brand also released its ReBurberry Edit last year. The collection was a curation of pieces from Spring/Summer 2020 that were crafted from sustainable materials and fabrics. These included trench coats and parkas made from recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles.

Currently, Burberry is partnering with PUR Projet to implement a regenerative agricultural programme with wool producers in Australia. This will improve the carbon capture in soils, strengthen soil health, and promote biodiverse habitats.

Inspiring Change in the Industry

The ReBurberry Edit | Credit: Complex

Burberry’s bold promise to be climate positive by 2040 is the first of its kind for the industry. The company is dedicated to reducing its environmental footprint and advocating for social progress.

“Being a force for good in the world means consistently going beyond, for better,”

Gobbetti told Vogue.

The London-based fashion house has also made real efforts to raise awareness of the impact of fashion on the planet. The brand supports the Fashion Avengers – a collection of leading fashion industry forces coming together to inspire and accelerate progress towards the United Nations’ Global Goals.

As part of this, Burberry is supporting Forest for Change, an installation created by British designer Es Devlin for the 2021 London Design Biennale. From 1 – 27 June 2021, the courtyard of Somerset House in London will be transformed into a forest. Visitors are invited to record their wishes for change and see the UN Global Goals.

“We are in a unique position to bring together NGOs, peers and policymakers to create meaningful change,” says Gobbetti.

The brand is also active in UNFCCC’s Fashion Charter, the G7 Fashion pact, and the UN Race to Zero which aim to drive bolder and faster progress.

In a genuine concern and approach for global sustainability and lowering carbon emissions, Burberry has redefined the values of fashion. It is expected that other leading industry forces will follow by committing to similar goals. This could be a new trend – and standard – for luxury brands, and for the future of fashion.

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