Burberry lays out biodiversity strategy at COP26
Burberry has announced its biodiversity strategy to support global conservation efforts.
Through this plan, Burberry will take action to protect, restore and regenerate nature, helping to slow further global warming as part of the transition towards the 1.5°C pathway set out in the Paris Agreement.
Building on Burberry’s recent commitment to become Climate Positive by 2040, the luxury Company’s biodiversity strategy will expand the scope of its current initiatives, applying a nature-based approach in its own value chain and in areas of greatest need beyond its operations.
The biodiversity strategy encompasses three focus areas:
• Protecting and restoring nature within and beyond Burberry’s own value chain through projects supported via the Burberry Regeneration Fund.
• Expanding support for farming communities, intensifying existing efforts around farm-level certifications and training where Burberry sources raw materials.
• Developing regenerative supply chains, applying regenerative and holistic land management practices to grazing or farming systems.
This year, Burberry completed a biodiversity baseline assessment in partnership with The Biodiversity Consultancy to determine its highest ecological impacts. It highlighted that leather, cashmere and wool have the most significant impact on biodiversity as well as accounting for a high proportion of Burberry’s carbon footprint. Burberry will apply Nature Based Solution Principles and Guidelines that it developed in partnership with The Biodiversity Consultancy to projects funded via its Regeneration Fund, ensuring natural ecosystems are protected, restored and regenerated.
Beyond its value chain, Burberry is the first luxury brand to sign up to the LEAF Coalition with an investment in what is expected to become the world’s largest public-private initiative providing results-based finance to countries committed to making ambitious reductions in tropical deforestation. Through a partnership with the Savory Institute’s Land to Market programme, Burberry is also facilitating the regeneration of the world’s grasslands in the leather supply chain and the livelihoods of their inhabitants. Both programmes will play an important part in global regeneration and conservation efforts.
“It’s about reducing carbon emissions but also restoring nature,” said Pam Batty, the company’s vice president, corporate responsibility, adding that it was important for Burberry to align its climate positive pledge with additional work on biodiversity.
“Everyone now understands net zero targets, because they are measurable and science-based, but the same logic applies to restoring nature. The methodology might not be quite there yet, but we wanted to be part of the conversation. Our process and goals will have to evolve over time, but we couldn’t wait until there were hard standards in place.”
“Part of being climate positive is working beyond your own initiatives,” said Batty, explaining that using parts of the Regeneration Fund to support areas that are in “desperate need” of protection and restoration is a key pillar of the strategy, irrespective of whether Burberry operates in them or not.
The company is working with various NGOs as part of the Fashion Pact. It is funding projects in Mongolia to help restore the grassland where goats graze, and supporting carbon insetting and reforestation initiatives in Australia.
New projects will be announced throughout the year and communicated with Burberry’s stakeholders and broader audience as part of a soon-to-launch platform called Burberry Beyond that outlines the company’s sustainability efforts.
“Climate change is not just a future environmental risk, it’s a socioeconomic 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-oriented in our approach,” said Gerry Murphy, chair of Burberry.
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