Chanel has made public its commitment to sustainable development and fighting the climate emergency. Other luxury groups have already made this pledge a major, recurrent theme in their communications, but the French luxury label, which claims to have become carbon neutral in 2019, hadn’t yet published such an unambiguous document about the issue. It has now released ‘Chanel Mission 1.5º’, a document detailing the label’s strategy to tackle climate change,
Chanel, a signatory of last September’s Fashion Pact, has announced its intention of aligning with the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, aimed at limiting the planet’s mean global temperature increases to 1.5° Celsius. To do so, the label has identified four activity areas: reducing its own and its supply chain’s carbon footprint; shifting to 100% renewable energy; balancing its residual carbon emissions; and funding projects designed to accelerate the transition towards a world generating a much smaller amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
The label pledged to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Chanel operations by 50% by 2030, equivalent to a 66% reduction per unit sold [compared to 2018], and at the same time to reduce supply chain emissions by 40% per unit sold by 2030, again compared to 2018,” as indicated in the press release for ‘Chanel Mission 1.5º’. This will be chiefly achieved by adopting increasingly responsible sourcing policies.
To reach its goals, Chanel intends to transition to “100% renewable energy for its directly run operations by 2025,” for example by installing solar panels at its manufacturing facilities. The plan is to increase the renewable share of the energy consumed globally by Chanel from 41% in 2019 to 97% in 2021. Chanel said it “has joined the RE100 coalition, a group of influential businesses committed to the use of renewable energy.”
The label pledged to balance its residual carbon emissions and, while it is committed to “decarbonizing its own operations and value chain,” it will also be funding projects designed to compensate for its residual environmental impact, “notably by investing in nature-based solutions, such as projects to protect and restore forests, mangroves, and peatlands.”
Finally, Chanel will finance environmental adaptation projects in order “to help the most vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, with the objective of reducing smallholder farmers’ and entrepreneurs’ vulnerability while also building resilient raw material supply chains, both outside and within our value chain.”
The Chanel group has also been investing in start-ups active in the sustainability field, becoming a minority shareholder in some of them. In June 2019, the group bought a stake in chemicals start-up Evolved by Nature, which has developed a technology to produce an innovative raw material called Activated Silk, pure natural silk in liquid form. In December 2018, via the Chanel Parfums Beauté subsidiary, the Group acquired a stake in Finnish start-up Sulapac, which has developed a new material that is industrially recyclable and totally biodegradable in seawater.
With the newly announced plan, “Chanel has made a clear commitment to accelerate the move to a lower-carbon economy. ‘Chanel Mission 1.5°’ is embedded in our long-term vision, and reflects our ambitions to play our part in facing humanity’s biggest challenge and make the future of our company part of a more sustainable world,” stated in the press release Andrea d’Avack, chief sustainability officer at Chanel for the past five years.
d’Avack added that “the climate crisis represents the biggest issue of our age and demands urgent action to reduce negative environmental impacts and drive broader change.”