PPR Group, the owner of brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has reacted to a research report that suggests luxury goods firms are lagging behind on sustainability issues, telling just-style it would analyse the findings immediately.

"We will definitely make a thorough analysis of the WWF report as we are willing to improve the way we do business," PPR spokesperson Charlotte Judet told just-style.

The report, called Deeper Luxury and conducted by the charity WWF-UK, said that Gucci and YSL had ranked a modest C+ on an A to F scale for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

It said luxury brands should be leading the way in corporate social responsibility (CSR), recommending they do more to justify their value.

However, PPR has this year reinforced its commitment to these responsibilities by creating a division to manage CSR, it said, after several years of constructing projects and accompanying company initiatives.

The division was created in September, when Laurent Claquin, formerly senior VP of communication, was appointed senior VP of corporate social and environmental responsibility for PPR Group.

The company said it hopes the unit will give CSR a strategic dimension, offer a platform for projects, and develop the image of the group on these subjects.

The WWF ranking was based on information provided by the companies themselves to the ethical investment community, and on feedback from media and non-governmental organisations. French cosmetics group, L'Oreal, topped the ranking, followed by Hermès and LVMH.

By Joe Ayling.