🌱 COP15: How Does Your Business Impact Biodiversity? Kering Are Leading The Way.

Featuring Kering, CISL, Good Business, Gousto and more...

Happy Friday!

This week we’re taking a look at biodiversity, and how businesses can manage their impact on it. In the lead up to the start of COP15 (on Monday 11th October), we cover:

  • COP15: What is it, why is it important, and how your business can be inspired.

  • 5 Strategies Kering Have Adopted To Meet Their Biodiversity Goals

  • In case you missed it: Meet the Partners: Good Business, featuring Sarah Howden.

Psst! We’re looking for contributors! Want to join our team, or pitch a one-off piece? Say hi at info@followingthefootprints.com.

> Good News This Week

🎯 Gousto announced its certification as a B Corporation. 

🎯 Root Zero potatoes, carbon neutral potatoes by Puffin Produce, will be stocked in 200 Co-op stores. Puffin Produce has set a target to reduce the carbon intensity of Root Zero potatoes by 51% by 2030. They’ve also committed to a company-wide 1.5°C Science Based Target target to reduce their operational emissions by 46% by 2030.

🎯 Recover and Polopiqué have partnered in an initiative to achieve sustainable manufacturing, aiming to make it easy for brands to produce apparel more sustainably, at scale. 

⭐️ Weetabix announced it’s on track to reach 100% recyclable packaging ahead of their 2025 deadline. 99% of its packaging will be recyclable by the summer. 

⭐️ Adidas entered the resale market, in partnership with Thredup, as part of its new Choose to Give Back programme.

⭐️ Garnier has partnered with National Geographic to produce a series of educational videos. This forms part of Garnier’s ‘Solidarity and Sourcing’ objective, 1 of 4 pillars of its ‘Green Beauty’ campaign. These pillars state that by 2025 Garnier aims to; only use zero virgin plastic, empower 1,000 communities worldwide, sustainably source all of its plant based renewable ingredients, and have its industrial sites be 100 percent carbon neutral.

⭐️ Zalando announced ‘business models and innovations to further circularity’, as part of their do.MORE sustainability strategy. They announced partnerships with Ellen MacArthur Foundation, circular.fashion, Save Your Wardrobe, Sorting For Circularity Project and Infinited Fiber Company.

> Click on each link to read more.

> Quick Take

COP15: Where Business Can Meet Biodiversity

Monday 11th October marks the start of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The conference held in Kunming, China is split into two phases; an online event running Monday - Friday next week, followed up by an in-person session between April 25th - May 8th 2022. 

Established in 1993, the convention is a global multilateral treaty for the conservation of biodiversity with a stronghold of 196 parties (February, 2021). It has a further two key objectives: the “sustainable use of the components of biological diversity” and the “fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources”. These are supplemented with the Cartagena and Nagoya protocols and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets to help realise the overarching goal of living harmoniously with nature by 2050. 

So why is COP15 important for brands? 

Biodiversity underpins life on Earth. We have a deep-rooted connection with nature as it is our supplier of essential resources, including (but not limited to) freshwater, clean air, medicines, food security, and fuel - not to mention its climate-stabilising and disease-limiting qualities. Our economies are reliant on biodiversity, with 55% of GDP or $41.7 trillion, depending on “high-functioning biodiversity and ecosystem services” as a Swiss Re Institute study revealed

It’s a fragile framework that, when damaged, can have far reaching consequences. Just take the well-publicised example of the decline of wild bee populations due to human activity. Heavy use of pesticides and widespread habitat destruction are the main reasons for dwindling numbers that contribute to less bountiful harvests, triggering a rise in food costs as well as food security issues. Thinking ahead, this will only be exacerbated by the UN’s 2019 expectation that the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. In general, a bigger population will put increased pressure on biodiversity to provide key resources. 

Enough doom and gloom, what is the solution? Action. 

The first step involves brands assessing their biodiversity impact. A holistic approach is key to identifying biodiversity loss hotpots in the supply chain, so that action can be relevant and specific. French luxury group Kering is a leading example of this, introducing a Biodiversity Strategy in 2020 which included a commitment to have a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2025 (read on for more). In turn, brands that integrate biodiversity as part of their sustainability strategy, can future-proof against supply chain risks whilst earning cost savings and plaudits. 

Want to be part of the solution but don’t know where to begin? Check out:

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> Brand Spotlight

5 Strategies Kering Have Adopted To Meet Their Biodiversity Goals

Kering commits to have a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2025, by regenerating and protecting an area about six times their total land footprint.

Behind this goal is targets, set by Kering, focusing on their impact on biodiversity loss globally. Here are a few examples:

  • By 2025, Kering will regenerate one million hectares of farms and rangelands in our supply chain landscapes.

  • By 2025, Kering will protect one million hectares of critical, ‘irreplaceable’ habitat outside of our supply chain.

  • By 2025, Kering will eliminate the sourcing of all materials that lead to the conversion of ecosystems with high conservation value, with attention to forested areas, grasslands, wetlands and freshwater/marine ecosystems.

  • By 2025, achieve 100% traceability of all materials to at least the country level, and to the farm level for key materials like leather.

  • Reduce biodiversity impacts associated with sourcing decisions, by ensuring 100% alignment with the Kering Standards for Raw Materials and Manufacturing Processes by 2025. This includes prioritizing sourcing organic cotton, which has 80% less environmental impact compared to conventional cotton.

  • One of our favourites: Inspire their 38,000+ employees to incorporate biodiversity into their daily lives, through diverse activities at the House- and site-level, such as bee-keeping clubs and citizen science projects.

What’s their strategy? It has 4 main stages, in line with the Science Based Targets framework: 

  1. Avoid - ‘In order to attain our biodiversity goals, we prioritize avoiding negative impacts whenever possible, especially in areas of critical ecological importance. “Avoiding” is a top priority, as it ensures ‘no-take’ from areas with the highest value to conservation.’ 

  2. Reduce - ‘When impacts cannot be avoided, Kering and its Houses actively work to reduce negative impacts. We take a full 360-degree approach, and apply this concept both to operational day-to-day decisions, as well as through our sourcing practice that reduce the duration, intensity and/or extent of impacts.’

  3. Restore and Regenerate - ‘In order to help shift the industry paradigm that merely seeks to minimize negative impacts, we act to restore and regenerate ecosystems through nature-based solutions in our sourcing locations, which offer biodiversity and carbon benefits.’

  4. Transform - ‘In order to have a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2025, we need to go above and beyond. We must collectively revolutionize the fashion & apparel industry through actions outside of our direct supply chains.’

Next steps for Kering: Monitoring, Reporting and Verification

So, what are they doing to work towards their goals, and what can other brands learn? We break it down...

Kering started where all brands should - by measuring their impact. In total, Kering’s footprint is roughly 350,000 hectares of land. To achieve this, they mapped their entire value chain and business operations - from offices, shops and warehouses, to the farms that produce all their raw materials and animal feed. They also did a materiality assessment

5 things Kering has done so far to work towards their goals:

  • Kept track of their material impacts: Environmental Profit & Loss Account (EP&L). They’ve open-sourced parts of this for other textile-based companies to use. 

  • Put their money where their mouth is: Kering for Nature Fund: One Million Hectares for the Planet

  • Picked their partners and programs carefully: E.g. UN REDD+

  • Called for change across their industry: Kering are a founding partner of the Fashion Pact, which represents 35% of industry volume.

  • Worked with research institutes: Kering partnered with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to develop a biodiversity ‘primer’ for the fashion sector. This also led to the creation of the Biodiversity Impact Measurement (BIM) to encourage visibility within companies.

Working towards biodiversity goals within your business? Let us know!

> In case you missed it

🤝#1 - Meet the Partners: Good Business

Featuring Sarah Howden, Senior Consultant.

Read the Full Story

> Follow up with…

  1. Article: Why biodiversity is the next big step for corporate sustainability

  2. Opinion: 5 Signs Your Climate Efforts Might Be Doing More Harm Than Good

  3. Event: How to Square The Circle Between Food Security and the Environment (27th October - Free)

  4. Episode: Extinction: The Facts