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Burberry is recognised externally for leading sustainability performance and desirability as an employer.  Please find the 2012-2017 Responsibility report here.

Recent accolades:

  • Burberry has been recognised as the Industry leader in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the 'Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods' sector. This is the second consecutive year that Burberry has been included in the index, reflecting the company’s strong commitment to continuously explore more productive and sustainable ways of working. Click here to view our press release for further details.
  • Recognised in RobecoSAM’s 2016 Sustainability Yearbook as ‘Industry Mover, Bronze Class’ in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods category, for having achieved the largest proportional improvement in our sustainability performance.
  • Listed by LinkedIn as the 12th most sought-after employer in the United Kingdom and 29th in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In 2012, Burberry initiated an environmental baseline assessment (p69) of both direct and indirect carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) impacts from raw materials through to consumer use. This detailed analysis enabled the identification of risks and priority areas and informed the development of the 2012-2017 targets seen below.

The following indicators illustrate Burberry’s activities during 2016/17.



2017 Targets 2016/17 Progress Results
Improve the environmental and social impacts of how we source cotton

In Peru, a three-year farmer training programme in partnership with CottonConnect, was completed in March 2017. Farmers reported a 14% increase in yields and lower environmental impacts, such as a 69% reduction in chemical pesticide use. Farmers also reported reductions in irrigation, as their practices are becoming more water efficient.

In addition, Burberry started procuring Better Cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The BCI trains farmers to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, reduce the use of the most harmful chemicals and promote decent work.

Improve the environmental and social impacts of how we source cashmere.

Burberry is a founding member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA), a UK-based NGO working in Mongolia to restore grassland, promote animal welfare and work towards a decent living for cashmere goat herders.

The SFA has piloted Animal Welfare and Land Management Codes of Practice during 2016/17 and work is underway to monitor vegetation cover, biomass, biodiversity, soil moisture and texture across 35 winter camps.

Reduce the environmental impact of leather

Burberry is working with its accessories’ supply chain to increase the proportion of leather originating from tanneries with Leather Working Group Certification or approved alternative certifications. Burberry has also worked to improve water, energy and chemical consumption and improve leather traceability to slaughter house and farm level.

In 2016/17, 77% (in m²) of leather used in accessories was sourced from tanners certified by either the Leather Working Group, the Institute of Quality Certification for the Leather Sector or the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. 

Reduce the environmental impact of PVC. Burberry has eliminated phthalates from all the PVC that it uses. The use of PVC within the business has significantly declined, to the extent that the largest accessories category (by volume) no longer contains any PVC articles. Burberry continues to research alternatives to PVC in key lines and is working with major suppliers as well as the wider industry to develop alternative materials that have a markedly reduced impact on the environment whilst retaining their performance and quality criteria. NOT ACHIEVED

Chemical use in manufacturing:

Eliminate chemicals from use that have a negative impact on the environment, beyond legal limits.

Burberry continues its efforts to eliminate chemicals in the supply chain through a wide range of activities, including regular testing of effluent, products and raw materials, and publicly reports on progress. The Company has also worked closely with its supply chain partners to create a community of chemical managers to share knowledge and assist in upskilling others in the supply chain. In addition, Burberry has been active in the research and analysis of new alternatives, as well as piloting the testing of new chemical formulations and making substitutions. ACHIEVED^*


100% of point of sale packaging to be sustainably sourced (where available)  

100% of paper and baseboard used in Burberry’s mainline and concession retail packaging comes from certified sources. Furthermore, all baseboard and ribbon are made of 100% recycled materials.  ACHIEVED^


2017 Targets 2016/17 Progress Results

Internal manufacturing

Reduce the energy use from Burberry's two UK manufacturing sites by 25%*.


Burberry owned manufacturing sites in Yorkshire UK have faced several challenges in achieving energy saving targets. Challenges have included, for example, building infrastructure limitations, the influence of weather and fluctuating production volumes. This combination of factors has resulted in only a 15% reduction at Burberry Mill and a 7% increase at Burberry’s factory in Castleford.





Work with key suppliers to assist them in reducing their energy use by up to 20%*

Working in partnership with the Natural Resource Defence Council (NRDC), Burberry increased its efforts to reduce energy and water use in the supply chain, by implementing an NRDC assured programme at 9 key water consuming facilities and an adapted programme at a further 10 key facilities that do not rely as heavily on water.

This programme is delivered by Burberry team members directly and is modelled on the NRDC 'Clean By Design' programme, which aims to identify simple ways to reduce pollution and cut water, chemical, and energy use whilst saving money.

In 2016/17 over 40 onsite visits allowed Burberry’s team to deliver technical support to 19 facilities and support their efforts on these ambitious targets.  Moderate progress was achieved against the energy target, with a 5% reduction in energy use at 19 facilities, whilst impressive progress was realised against the water target, with an 18% reduction in water use across 9 facilities.











Work with key mills to assist them to reduce their water consumption by up to 20%*


The Company has streamlined its efforts to reduce energy and water use in the supply chain to achieve maximum impact. This combined approach is described in more detail above, as part of the ‘Suppliers’ target. While the water target of 20% reduction has not been fully achieved, significant progress has been made in this area, with an 18% reduction in water use across 9 key facilities.




Reduce carbon emissions from the transport of Burberry products by 10%*.

Burberry’s carbon emissions have increased by 10% per unit. Despite this result, Burberry has made progress in addressing the carbon emissions associated with the movement of products by implementing a box consolidation project. However, business changes to delivery times and therefore transport routes have mitigated any positive results of the box consolidation project. In the coming year, Burberry will continue to target volume reduction opportunities, review transport modes and increase its efforts to engage transport carriers on sustainability.





Distribution centres:

Reduce energy use in Burberry’s five third-party distribution centres by 10%*


As well as achieving a normalised reduction of 33% against base years (these vary, depending on the opening dates of the distribution centres), Burberry’s five key, third-party distribution centres have accomplished an absolute reduction of 11% against last year. This is mainly due to energy efficiency measures, including the implementation of LED lighting and light motion sensors, and the fantastic engagement of onsite teams.





2017 Targets 2016/17 Progress Results

Energy consumption:

Reduce Burberry controlled store and office energy usage by up to 15%*.

Overall, a 5% reduction was achieved across stores and offices. This does not meet targets set in 2012, but increased efforts are planned in this area for the future, in recognition of limited performance so far. Digital monitoring equipment and in-store energy audits have enabled Burberry to identify and implement several in-store energy-saving opportunities during 2016/17. At its London headquarters, the Company achieved a 14% reduction in absolute energy usage against its base year of 2012. Please see Burberry’s Global Greenhouse Gas emissions data for more details on energy use and CO2e emissions during 2016/17.

Please see p51 of the Annual Report 2016/17.






Sustainable consumables:

60% of office consumables to be sustainably sourced (where available).

Whilst office consumables represent a very small proportion of its environmental impacts, Burberry is committed to driving employee engagement and improvements in corporate offices globally. In 2016/17, 48% of all office consumables in corporate offices globally were sustainably sourced.

Given that the scope of this target was increased half way through the 5-year period and the relatively limited availability of recognised sustainable sources in some high-volume categories, this progress is significant, with half of Burberry’s suppliers providing 100% sustainably sourced products.



Renewable energy:

All Burberry controlled stores and offices to be powered either by on site or green tariff renewable energy (where available).

Burberry increased procurement of renewable energy across operational sites including retail, offices, warehouses and internal manufacturing. Overall, electricity covering 53% of global square footage is either generated on site or comes from renewable sources. This includes energy generated by solar panels installed at its UK head office, US distribution centre and flagship stores in Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, which provide over 1 million kWh of clean energy a year.

Burberry faces a challenge in procuring renewable energy, with a proportion of sites in locations where there are no renewable alternatives available, despite significant investigation. The remaining sites, with renewable alternatives available but not adopted yet, have been delayed largely due to existing contractual terms that are yet to expire.




Build certification:

All new builds will be sustainable build certified [LEED (silver), BREEAM (very good) or Greenmark (silver)]

This target has been achieved, with all recent and planned new builds already certified or awaiting confirmation of certification.





Construction materials:

30% of wood, by spend, is either recycled materials or sourced from certified supply chains.

In 2016/17, over 80% of the wood used in Burberry’s furniture, flooring and in-store fixtures came from certified, responsibly-managed forests. Crucially, Construction teams have engaged with wood suppliers to ensure their full understanding of and engagement with this important work, and they consider suppliers’ ability to meet these requirements as part of their overall performance evaluation.  



Construction waste:

30% of construction waste to be recycled for global major projects.

In partnership with its contractors, Burberry has gone above and beyond its initial target, reaching an 87% waste recycling rate across all major construction projects for the last two years.



LED lighting:

75% of lighting to be LED or energy efficient in new concept stores.

Burberry has surpassed this target, reaching over 95% LED lighting fixtures in all new builds and full store refurbishments over two years ago.



Ethical Trading Programme

Focus Areas 2016/17 Progress
Auditing tier 1, tier 2 and
selected tier 3 suppliers

Burberry’s Ethical Trading Programme comprises of announced and unannounced audits, monitoring and improvement programmes. With the programme evolving year-on-year, the Company has focused on how it can make the mostmeaningful, positive impacts on the lives of people throughout its supply chain, rather than increasing the number of audits. Auditing remains, however, an important tool to help Burberry and its manufacturers identify areas in need of improvement.

Number of audits and assessments:

Building capacity of workers and management in the supply chain 

Burberry has continued to build and enhance supply chain partnerships to drive positive, long-lasting change. Improvement programmes have been implemented across its supply chain to support factories in building stronger human resource management systems; reducing working hours; sustaining and enhancing unique knowledge, skills and expertise; and providing access to confidential grievance mechanisms.

Number of training and engagement activities:


Driving performance improvements at finished goods’ manufacturers

Results of the 2016/17 audits show an overall positive shift in ethical trading performance by the Company’s apparel and non-apparel partners. New manufacturers who did not meet key requirements as outlined in Burberry’s Ethical Trading Code of Conduct were not accepted into the Company’s supply chain, others were found to meet key requirements but were asked to implement further improvements.

Ready to Wear, Accessories and Shoe Supply Chain^

^Selected information denoted by this symbol has received limited assurance by Ernst & Young LLP
* Carried forward with increased ambition in new strategy. Other targets have been incorporated into the Company's ways of working/
** When normalised by a relevant productivity factor.

Community Investment

Focus Areas 2016/17 Progress
Financial support

While conducting an in-depth review of its charitable giving activities over the last year, Burberry continued to support communities where its employees live and work through financial grants, employee time and in-kind donations.

Burberry continued to donate 1% of Group adjusted profits before tax (£4.6 million in 2016/17) to charitable causes around the world, with a significant proportion going to the Burberry Foundation (UK registered charity number 1154468). Other charitable investments included supporting the establishment of a new facility for the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre, donating to disaster relief efforts and nurturing emerging creative talent through scholarships at the Royal College of Art and BAFTA.

Burberry Apprentices The first cohort of Burberry Apprentices graduated in September 2016, with 90% of participants completing the programme. The Company expanded the programme in August when a second cohort joined the business, with new opportunities opening in the London headquarters and at the Burberry Mill in Yorkshire.
In-kind donations In-kind donations ranged from one-off gifts of nontrade mark fabric and materials to assist young people on creative courses, to donations of smart business clothing to support over 1,000 people enrolled in employability programmes.
Employee time The Company expanded its volunteering programme, enabling all its employees worldwide to dedicate up to three working days a year to impactful community projects, seeing volunteering as an opportunity to make a difference while strengthening teams, enhancing workplace skills and building employee engagement and motivation. Activities included career mentoring events, employability workshops, community revitalisation and fundraising projects.

External assurance of corporate responsibility disclosures

Burberry appointed Ernst & Young LLP to provide limited external assurance over reported performance against selected environmental targets, and selected 2016/17 environmental and ethical trading performance data. The statements and data that formed part of the review are denoted with a ^. Please click here for the full independent assurance statement and Burberry’s basis of reporting.