Chanel sets 1.5C science-based targets, pledges 100% renewable energy

The new carbon commitment has been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) in line with the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious trajectory.  It covers the French multinational’s Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions.

In order to meet the promised Scope 2 reduction, Chanel has pledged to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations by 2025. The company sources 41% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources in 2019 and expects this proportion to hit 97% by the end of 2021, as it invests in a mix of onsite arrays, new tariffs and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Regarding Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, the new targets include an ambition to reduce supply chain emissions by 40% by 2030, against a 2018 baseline, on a “per product sold” basis. Meeting this particular target will require Chanel to help suppliers invest in low-carbon energy, transport and materials.

Mindful of the IPCC’s report on 1.5C, which state that global emissions must reach net-zero by 2050 to cap the temperature increase, Chanel’s new targets also include a commitment to balance “residual” emissions using carbon offsetting and insetting.

Credits under this move will be used to fund projects that help developing communities across the world mitigate emissions and adapt to climate impacts, Chanel said in a statement.

“It is our conviction that businesses have a clear role to play, alongside governments and civil society, to help protect the world’s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems from the consequences of climate change,” Chanel’s chief sustainability officer Andrea d’Avack said.

“[Our] Mission 1.5C is embedded in our long-term vision and reflects our ambitions to play our part in facing humanity’s biggest challenge and enroll the future of our company in a more sustainable world.”

Life’s luxuries go green

Chanel is not the only luxury brand to set 1.5C-aligned emissions targets. Since the IPCC released its landmark report in 2018, the number of businesses receiving approval for, and applying for, 1.5C approval from the SBTi has risen rapidly – with several big-name luxury brands joining the cohort.

Burberry, for example, has committed to reducing its operational emissions by 95% by 2022. The British designer recently built on this commitment with a plan to create a “regeneration fund” to support a new portfolio of “carbon insetting projects” that aim to deliver regenerative agriculture practices across its supply chain.

Others, including Kering and Gucci, claim to have already achieved carbon neutrality across their operations – and are now helping others to make the net-zero transition. Kering is notably the architect of the Fashion Pact – a joint commitment from fashion firms in G7 nations to end their contributions to climate change and ocean plastic pollution – and of a climate roadmap for the luxury sector.

Following on from this climate action in the luxury space, Positive Luxury has predicted that 2020 will see more and more brands investing in nature-based climate solutions. The certification firm’s co-founder and chief executive Daniela Verde Nieto recently spoke exclusively to edie about this, and other, sustainability forecasts.

Sarah George

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