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August 12, 2022

Burberry net zero emissions target gains SBTi approval

Burberry claims to have become the first luxury fashion brand to receive approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its net zero emissions target.

By Beth Wright

The validation confirms the goals Burberry has set to reach net zero emissions by 2040 are based on the latest climate science and meet the urgent need to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement. Burberry’s net zero target is underpinned by a series of commitments across scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

  • In the near term, Burberry commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 95% by 2023 from a 2017 base year, and reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 46.2% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. 
  • In the long term, the company commits to maintaining at least 95% absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG reductions from 2023 through 2040 against an FY2017 base year, while reducing absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 90% by 2040 from a 2019 base year.

Scopes 1 and 2 cover emissions generated from Burberry’s own operations, such as electricity and gas in stores, manufacturing hubs and offices. Scope 3 refers to emissions in Burberry’s extended supply chain, such as energy usage by manufacturing and material sourcing partners.

Burberry’s net zero emissions target builds on the British luxury brand’s longstanding commitment to reduce its direct and indirect environmental impacts and make a positive difference to the lives of people around the world. Burberry says it is currently carbon neutral across its own operations globally, all the electricity it uses is from renewable sources and almost every product it makes has a social or environmental benefit.

“The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) plays a critical role in ensuring ambitions set by businesses are in line with the latest climate science and will contribute to tackling the climate emergency. Rooting our commitments in science has always been a priority at Burberry, so we can ensure the steps we are taking will have the necessary impact and bring about lasting change. We continue to challenge ourselves to drive measurement, improvement and transparency across our operations and we are committed to continue working with our suppliers and partners to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable practices. We hope this encourages others to do the same,” says Caroline Laurie, vice president of corporate responsibility, Burberry.

Luiz Amaral, CEO of the Science Based Targets initiative, adds: “Climate science tells us that we need rapid and deep emissions cuts if we are to achieve global net zero and prevent the most damaging effects of climate change. Burberry’s net zero targets match the urgency of the climate crisis and set a clear example that their peers must follow.”

Earlier this year, Burberry signed a GBP300m loan linked to the achievement of key ESG targets.

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