Burberry introduces carbon 'insetting' fund

Luxury fashion firm Burberry will create a "regeneration fund" to support a new portfolio of "carbon insetting projects" that aim to deliver regenerative agriculture practices across its supply chain - a move that will see its Autumn/Winter 2020 runway show at London Fashion Week become carbon-neutral.

Burberry has set a targeted 30% absolute reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030. Image: Mparweo/Wikipedia

Burberry has set a targeted 30% absolute reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030. Image: Mparweo/Wikipedia

Burberry has today (17 February) pledged to create a specified fund to invest in carbon insetting projects. Insetting, as opposed to offsetting, is based on tree-planting projects or regenerative agriculture practices that are carried out directly within a company’s supply chain. As well as working as a form of carbon capture, Burberry’s insetting projects will work with communities across the supply chain to improve climate resilience, promote biodiversity, restore ecosystems and support the livelihoods of local producers.

“At Burberry, we are passionate about creating real change in our industry to build a more sustainable future and I am proud that we can express this through our biggest brand moments like our runway shows,” Burberry’s vice president of corporate responsibility, Pam Batty said.

“As we look to the future, our move to implement carbon insetting in our supply chain is testament to our restless approach to finding new ways to protect our environment and strengthen our deep commitment to our local communities.”

The rise in net-zero emissions targets has put carbon offsetting back on the corporate agenda, with airlines and e-commerce platforms, in particular, using them as part of their carbon strategies. However, many green groups continue to be sceptical about the true impact of carbon offsetting.

As such, insetting gives a business more control and understanding of the impacts of a programme and can still involve NGOs and green groups across the entire value chain.

Last June, Burberry set a science-based target aligned to the 1.5C trajectory of the Paris Agreement, committing to reducing its operational emissions by 95% by 2022.

Burberry has set the 95% reduction in its scope 1 and 2 emissions against a 2016 baseline, alongside a targeted 30% absolute reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030 against the same baseline. The commitments expand on an existing goal to become a carbon-neutral operation by 2022.

As a first step, Burberry will partner with the PUR Project environmental group to establish and implement regenerative agriculture practices with wool producers in Australia, a region that has been ravaged by climate-induced wildfires in recent months. Projects will focus on farm-level training to improve carbon capture in soils, improve watershed and soil health, reduce dryland salinity and promote biodiverse habitats.

Autumn/Winter 2020 runway show

With London Fashion Week starting last week  (14 February) and, for the first time, featuring a “positive fashion” exhibit, Burberry is using the event to showcase its commitment to carbon-neutrality.

Burberry’s Autumn/Winter 2020 runway show, which took place today, has been badged as carbon neutral by holding the event in a certified sustainable venue, prioritising electric vehicles (EVs) and not using any air freight. All remaining emissions have been offset through a savanna fire management project in Australia and guests can opt-in to an option to plant trees in Australia through PUR Project.

Matt Mace



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