The overriding theme of EU Green Week 2021 is the European Union’s action plan: “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil”. In line with this goal, LVMH’s new LIFE 360 strategy will guide the Group’s environmental initiatives over the next 10 years, strengthening the existing alliance between nature and creativity. Protecting water, soil and air quality is a key focus for the Group and the target of very tangible objectives set by the Maisons. All these initiatives foster innovation throughout our value chains, from field to store and beyond.
LVMH’s Maisons are determined to reduce water consumption and ensure that discharges are free of pollution, at every stage of the value chain. To ensure a neutral impact on resources, they aim for nothing less than excellence.
Several of our Maisons and their suppliers in the ready-to-wear, leather goods and footwear segments are members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) program, which promotes the responsible management of chemicals and the deployment of better wastewater treatment technologies. The relevant LVMH sites (tanneries, textile workshops, etc.) analyze their discharges and are regularly audited. The same is true for the Maisons’ strategic suppliers, which will include the top 30 suppliers for each Maison by 2023.
Another example of a water stewardship initiative can be found at Glenmorangie’s historic distillery on the Scottish coast, which has been equipped since 2017 with a wastewater treatment plant based on anaerobic digestion. The plant produces biogas that can be used directly by the site, reducing its fossil fuel energy needs by 13% and eliminating 95% of the organic matter in its effluent.
To address marine pollution, particularly from plastics, LVMH and its Maisons are committed to managing these materials responsibly and have pledged to eliminate fossil fuel-derived virgin plastics from their packaging by 2026. The LIFE 360 program’s “Creative Circularity” pillar is driving innovation in this area, through the use of recycled or alternative materials. At Sephora, bio-sourced plastics are already widely used for the packaging of certain products.
Preserving soil health enables our Maisons to ensure the quality of the raw materials used, as well as their ability to store carbon dioxide and participate in natural water and nitrogen cycles. LVMH intends to step up the deployment of regenerative agriculture by 2030 to cover all strategic supplies, including grapes, cotton and wool.
Moët Hennessy, for example, is committed to preserving soil quality through its “Living Soils, Living Together” program. For many years, all its Maisons have been complying with the most demanding environmental certifications in France, such as High Environmental Value (HVE) and Sustainable Viticulture (VDC) in the Champagne region and Cognac Environmental Certification (CEC) in Cognac. All the Champagne houses had stopped using herbicides at their vineyards in the Champagne region by end-2020. And Hennessy will adopt the same approach for its own vineyards in 2021 and for the suppliers of its grapes in 2028.
In 2021, both Ruinart and Hennessy implemented pilot biodiversity projects alongside non‑profit organization Reforest’Action. The projects involve the use of agroforestry techniques, such as the planting of hedges, trees and bushes and the creation of biodiversity “islets”, at Ruinart’s historic vineyard in Taissy and at Hennessy’s Domaine de la Bataille. Hennessy has taken its commitment even further by launching an ambitious global forest regeneration program.
In light of the Group’s activities, air pollution is an issue often associated with our value chain because of the emissions generated to produce the electricity used by our operations and those associated with the transportation of our products.
The efforts made by LVMH and the different Maisons have already reduced energy use by more than 30% per square meter of retail space. The objective for 2030 is a 50% reduction, notably in countries where the energy mix is still dominated by fossil fuels. At the same time, LVMH continues to support renewable energies. These already account for 39% of the Group’s energy use, with a target of 100% by 2026.
To address transportation-related emissions, some of the Maisons have adopted particularly innovative solutions. In 2020, Hennessy joined forces with shipping company Neoline to reduce the impact of its transatlantic shipments. As a result, 4 million bottles of Hennessy cognac will be transported each year using wind-powered cargo ships, driving a 90% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. A pioneer in green transportation, Sephora generalized the use of electric vehicles in France back in 2012 and has since replicated the initiative in Italy, China and the United States.
The Fashion and Leather Goods Maisons are making similar moves. Celine, for example, has launched two initiatives. The first involves reducing air freight in favor of sea or land freight. The second consists in cutting down the amount of packaging used (by 15% for leather goods, for example), which has a direct impact on the CO2 emissions generated while transporting its products to stores. Louis Vuitton is also pursuing its efforts to minimize the environmental impact associated with transportation and logistics. In 2020, in addition to renewing the ISO 14001 certification of its Green Supply Chain, the Maison developed a comprehensive transportation policy and shared it with all its distribution partners, covering the full spectrum from international long-distance freight to movements between the central warehouse and the workshops.
To find out all about EU Green Week 2021, visit the dedicated website: https://www.eugreenweek.eu/