French retail group PPR, which owns luxury brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent as well as sportswear firm Puma, today (27 April) unveiled a series of sustainability targets for the next five years, following the launch of its green profit and loss report last year.

The company said the programme will focus on the reduction of carbon emissions, waste and water, sourcing of raw materials, hazardous chemicals and materials, paper and packaging, and its supply chain.

By 2016 it will:

  • Evaluate all of its key suppliers a minimum of every two years, and help guide them to meet best practices and PPR's code of conduct;
  • Reduce carbon emissions, waste and water use resulting from the production of products and services by 25%, while accounting for the growth of its business. Remaining emissions from scope 1 and scope 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol will be offset annually;
  • 100% of paper and packaging for PPR will be sourced from certified sustainably managed forests with a minimum of 50% recycled content;
  • All of its collections will be PVC-free by 2016;
  • All hazardous chemicals will be phased out and eliminated from its production by 2020;
  • 100% of gold and diamonds in its products will be sourced from verified operations that do not have a harmful impact on local communities, wildlife or the ecosystems which support them;
  • 100% of leather from domestic livestock within PPR's products will be from responsible and verified sources that do not result in converting sensitive ecosystems into grazing lands or agricultural lands for food production for livestock and;
  • 100% of precious skins and furs in PPR's products will come from verified captive breeding operations or from wild, sustainably managed populations. Suppliers will also employ accepted animal welfare practices and humane treatment in sourcing.

The company is implementing detailed policy and guidelines and will be monitoring performance, with a focus on the sourcing and suppliers of raw materials and subsequent compliance. It will also support its brands to customise action plans and identify priority issues to achieve the targets.

PPR has also taken a 5% stake in Wildlife Works Carbon as part of its long-term sustainability strategy. The company said Wildlife Works Carbon has 500,000 hectares under protection, and has a prospective pipeline of several million hectares of natural forests around the world.

PPR said the voluntary carbon market is placed for growth and potential for return could exceed the original investment by multiple times. The investment also fulfils one of PPR Home's primary goals, to invest in for-profit businesses that incorporate biodiversity conservation and social concerns into their business model, resulting in net-positive social and environmental impacts.

PPR has offset the 2011 global emissions from the Luxury division, Sport & Lifestyle division, and PPR's headquarters totalling 95,100 tons to become carbon neutral in Scopes 1 & 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, purchasing carbon credits from Wildlife Works' Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) offsetting programme in Kenya.

"Our pursuit of operating on a more sustainable level across all areas of our business is integral to our business plan and to the longevity of our businesses," said chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault.

"The next five years are pivotal and we now have a clear view of what we want to achieve, and the actionable targets we need to take to get us there. 

"We are confident that this type of innovative, sustainability-driven approach will ultimately generate new business revenues from sustainable products and services and create new business models for us as a group."