Creativity is the thread that connects Burberry’s past with its future. Guided by our purpose, we are creating the next generation of sustainable luxury for our customers and helping transform our industry.
We recognise that the long-term success of our business depends on investing in the environmental sustainability of our operations, the resilience of our supply chains and our management of climate change impacts. Our future depends on it.
We are actively working to reduce our environmental footprint and meaningfully support our global communities, while seeking to transform our industry. Drawing on our heritage of exploration and guided by our purpose, we are pushing boundaries, setting leading standards and pioneering innovative solutions to create real system change.
Our Responsibility team of more than 30 in-house sustainability experts has been working on our environmental and social programmes for more than 15 years. The ambitious targets that underpin our mission are set out in our latest five-year Responsibility agenda through 2022.
We are on track to achieve 100% renewable electricity, a carbon neutral footprint across our own operational energy use, and for every luxury product we offer our customers to have more than one positive environmental or social attribute.
Expanding on our existing goals, we are transitioning towards a Climate Positive future and ensuring that we consciously craft our collections.
Industry-leading climate change initiatives
100% of products with more than one positive attribute by 2022
• Measuring the positive impact our collections have on the environment and people
• Ensuring all key materials are 100% traceable by 2025
• Ambitious targets to source more sustainable cotton, leather and wool, as well as recycled polyester and nylon
• Sustainable packaging
Caring for our supply chain
• Respecting and safeguarding the rights of everyone in our supply chain
Restore and repair
• Specialist aftercare services to extend the life of products
We are proud of our climate change initiatives, which are continually evolving as we find new ways to rise to the challenges posed by the climate emergency.
We aim to be Climate Positive by 2040, going beyond net-zero by investing in key initiatives to support wider climate change efforts beyond our value chain.
We will also become carbon neutral in our own operational energy use by 2022, which we will achieve by reducing absolute emissions, improving energy efficiency and switching to renewable electricity sources, before offsetting any remaining emissions. All our events, including shows and presentations, have been certified carbon neutral since 2019. We have reduced our market-based emissions by 92% since 2016.
Underpinning our ambition to achieve a net-zero future, we have Science Based Targets across our scope 1 and 2 emissions (in our own operations and indirect emissions from our energy use), aligned to the Paris Agreement 1.5°C pathway and scope 3 emissions (across our extended supply chain). We aim for:
This target focuses on emissions from our direct operations, including electricity and gas consumption in our stores, offices, internal manufacturing and distribution sites. This target is consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
This target relates to indirect emissions in our extended supply chain, which includes impacts from the sourcing of raw materials and the manufacturing of finished goods.
Both targets are set against a 2016 base year.
To date, in line with our Science Based Targets, we have reduced our scope 1 and 2 emissions by 84% compared to FY 2016/17 and reduced our scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services by nearly 8,700 tonnes.
By designing with our sustainability ambitions in mind, we can ensure that our products are consciously crafted, minimising our environmental impact and creating opportunities for our global communities.
We are engaging our creative community through training on circular design and have hosted a range of product disassembly workshops to help teams better understand how the lives of our products can be extended.
As a core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, we helped shape the vision for circular fashion and have contributed to its Circular Design Guide for Fashion, a valuable resource for the fashion and textiles industry.
We are open, caring and committed to respecting and safeguarding the rights of everyone in our supply chain. In order to ensure we are having a positive impact on the people touched by our global business, we work closely with our supply chain partners to promote ways of working that reflect our values.
We continually assess human rights risks and labour conditions across our supply chain as part of our ethical trading programme, which has been in place since 2004. We require all our suppliers to meet international labour standards and local laws and agree to our Responsible Business Principles. Measures including announced and unannounced audits, training and improvement programmes, and interviews with people working in our supply chain, to help us to ensure our third-party suppliers are aligned to our expectations.
We believe that everyone should have access to fair and responsible employment. To support this, we are an accredited UK Living Wage employer, a Principal Partner of the Living Wage Foundation and are on the steering group of the Global Living Wage Initiative, which aims to provide a global living wage standard.
We make clear to all our suppliers that any form of modern slavery, including forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour, is not permitted. We provide training on identifying risks of modern slavery to our employees and partners to support this. More information can be found in our Modern Slavery Statement on Burberryplc.com.
During the financial year, we supported our supply chain partners through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. We implemented an Infection Control Management Policy to support our partners in providing safe working environments. We also conducted training with the support of external providers on how to operate a COVID-19-safe environment.
We seek to minimise waste at all stages of our value chain. We follow clearly defined waste hierarchy principles. Where we have unsaleable goods, we reuse, repurpose, donate or recycle them.
In FY 2020/21, we launched reusable, customisable accessories pop-ups. Modular installations with interchangeable parts, the pop-ups build on Burberry’s legacy of innovation and creativity. In each location, the reusable building blocks were assembled in a unique way to create a beautiful set-up that adapted to fit each space. The travelling pop-ups made their way across 39 different locations.
We launched ReBurberry Fabric, a pilot programme in partnership with The British Fashion Council, to donate leftover fabrics to fashion students. During the year, we donated 7,125 metres of fabric, benefiting 33 schools.
We also partner with Alta Scuola di Pelletteria Italiana, a leather school, and San Patrignano, an organisation supporting marginalised young people. In 2020, the school trained San Patrignano residents in leather goods disassembly and repurposing using excess Burberry materials.
We continue to donate products and raw materials to various charities, design schools and colleges globally, including the Royal College of Art, the Manchester Fashion Institute and the British Fashion Council. We have also funded a two-year research project with The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) to design a post-consumer leather goods recycling system.
We know that the enduring quality of Burberry pieces means their appeal and value is long-lasting. This, along with our mission to build a more sustainable future, led us to launch a luxury aftercare service to extend the life of our products.
For the first time, we have also launched dedicated aftercare spaces in stores in London and Paris. Building on our existing repair service, we piloted a new Trench Refresh programme in London, inviting clients to a Trench diagnostic session with one of our in-house experts. As part of this offering, we introduced a new reproofing solution for our gabardine Trench Coats that is kinder to the environment, and expanded our repair and replacement capabilities. We also launched a pilot of our Leather Restore service globally, offering complimentary leather conditioning to extend the life of Burberry bags.
Our collections feature high-quality and sustainably sourced materials. Through our use of these materials and engagement with suppliers, we also stimulate wider demand across our industry for materials that are less impactful on the environment.
We have a series of ambitious targets to achieve this aim:
*applicable where the use of recycled fibres is in line with local laws.
We are mindful of how we use water throughout our supply chain. We track and promote management practices and technologies that facilitate water recycling and use water-efficient materials. CDP rated Burberry A- for water security in 2020.
We prohibit the use and release of unwanted chemicals. As a Board member of The ZDHC Foundation, we steer luxury peers, third-party suppliers and external chemical experts to devise innovative solutions to address this issue.
All Burberry retail bags and boxes are reusable and recyclable, and certified by the FSC.
Our signature oak paper is made from a minimum of 40% upcycled coffee cups that would have otherwise gone to landfill. Since February 2019, 66 million cups have been upcycled into Burberry packaging. Our products are transported on recyclable hangers and in garment bags made from 100% recycled polyester.
Eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic packaging is a priority for us. As a signatory of the 2025 New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, we have pledged to eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic; use 100% reusable and recyclable plastic; and use at least 20% recycled content across all own-branded plastic packaging by 2025.
Our Responsibility agenda contributes to a range of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, where we feel we are uniquely placed to make a positive difference. We recognise the power of working in collaboration to drive real change in the industry, which is why SDG 17 runs across the breadth of our strategy enabling progress in all areas of our work. We are focused on working together with industry peers, business partners and other key stakeholder groups to find long term solutions and promote wider industry change.
Our partnerships include, but are not limited to:
We are a member of several leading forums, where we share our experiences and collaborate with others to adopt more sustainable ways of working, as well as learn from innovators within and outside our industry. These include: