Green Week 2020: LVMH expands commitments to protecting biodiversity
EU Green Week 2020 is a key event on the agenda to move forward to achieve the ecological transition. The theme of this year’s Green Week from October 19-22 was “A New Beginning for People and Nature”, highlighting the contribution biodiversity can make to society and the economy and the role it can play in stimulating recovery in a post-pandemic world by creating jobs and sustainable growth. LVMH took advantage of the event to confirm that nature is a fundamental source of inspiration for its creations, providing the exceptional materials that ensure the excellence of its products.
Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. This web of living things is the heart of nature, cleaning the water we drink, pollinating our crops, purifying the air we breathe, regulating the climate, keeping our soils fertile, providing us with medicine, and providing many of the basic building blocks for industry.
And yet all scientists agree that we are losing nature like never before, in all parts of the world. Addressing this situation, LVMH recognizes the importance of assessing, estimating and justifying its impact and dependence on natural capital. The Group has defined a path forward guided by two principles sustainability and respect for nature.
All LVMH Maisons embrace the notions of rare quality and longevity. Their products are exceptional because they last and, conversely, they last because they are exceptional. This enduring quality finds its source in nature. Nature provides the exquisite materials that go into crafting the products of LVMH Maisons, from grapes and cashmere to flowers and exotic leathers. Preserving nature is thus absolutely essential to guarantee sustainable availability of these precious resources. Since 2016 LVMH has continually strengthened its commitment to applying best practices in the sourcing of both plant and animal-based materials.
Regenerative agriculture harbors considerable promise for the future. This approach to farming is capable of regenerating the health of soils and the functioning of ecosystems – biodiversity, water cycles, etc. – by providing socioeconomic stability for stakeholders (farmers and local communities) and producing quality materials. This type of agriculture is “custom tailored” to a specific area or type of land. Several LVMH Maisons are already pursuing this channel.
Ao Yun, for example, has since 2013 cultivated vineyards at high altitudes in the Himalayas with agroforestry methods that respect the terroir and biodiversity. The Bodega Numanthia vineyard analyzes microbes and fungi in the soil in its parcels to ensure their good health and thus the excellence of its wines, year after year.
For products that come from animals, the LVMH Animal-based Raw Materials Sourcing Charter has already had a positive impact on responsible sourcing just a year after its publication. For 2020, the Group is committed to identifying the country of origin for all animal-based raw materials and to ensuring animal welfare for at least 70% of raw materials purchased. What’s more, a Scientific Committee composed of six independent experts will regularly contribute expertise concerning the animal-based raw materials used by the Group.
In addition to cashmere, Loro Piana is renowned for the extremely precious vicuña wool used to craft its coveted products. Working with both public authorities and farmers in Peru, the Italian Maison has directly helped save the vicuña population from extinction by creating the first nature reserve for the species.
Also emblematic of the Group’s support for the preservation of biodiversity is LVMH’s partnership with UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere intergovernmental scientific program, which seeks to build thriving societies in harmony within the biosphere. The first project within the framework of this partnership is being sponsored by Guerlain.
LVMH continually pursues green and sustainable innovations as well in a quest to fuse excellence and eco-design. Several Maisons have unveiled notable creations in this domain, including Ruinart, which teamed with paper manufacturer James Cropper to create a new case for its champagne bottles.