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How sustainable is Burberry ?

Burberry & sustainability


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First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 10 out of 36

Sustainability summary

Burberry has achieved the D-label. Burberry has started to take sustainability into account. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: Burberry Group plc
Head office: London, UK
Sector: Luxury brands
Categories : Male, Female, Kids
Free Tags: Burberry, Bags, Caps, Shirts, Pullover, Suits, Jackets, Jeans, Dress

What's your sustainability news about Burberry?

Burberry sustainability score report

Last edited: 23 March 2017 by Stephanie B.
Last reviewed: 23 March 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Burberry implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy efficiency measures in its stores or the use of renewable energy. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Burberry reduced its own operations climate footprint (Scope 1&2) from 44,406,889 kg of CO2e in FY15 to 42,288,185 kg of CO2e in FY16, which represents a reduction of about 5% (see link, page 109). Source
3. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Burberry reports that 42% of its electricity purchased originates from renewable sources. Burberry communicates that some energy is generated on site (solar panels), but mostly elsewhere. But, sources, types and additionality of supply are not specified clear enough (see also source at next question, page 108-109). Source
4. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Burberry reports several targets for 2017 pertaining to climate emissions and energy efficiency, but no general target to reduce climate emissions (see link, page 108). Source
6. Does the brand (company) have a policy and reports on tangible results to reduce / compensate carbon emissions generated from the production chain (Scope 3)? Burberry mentions the target to reduce climate emissions in the supply chain, and reports on climate emissions which were caused in its production chain that is beyond own operations (see link, "Climate Change 2016 Response”). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

2 out of 16
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? Burberry mentions environmentally preferred alternatives to cotton, cashmere and leather, but only for leather a concrete percentage is mentioned. It is not clear what percentage of the total volume is environmentally preferred (see also source at next question, page 108). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Does the brand have a clear and effective policy to avoid the use of leather that originates from cattle farms in deforestated Amazone areas? Burberry mentions tracing hides to the country of origin of the leather, and states to ‘not knowingly’ use leather originating from cattle farms in deforested Amazon areas. Although it is unclear what ‘not knowingly’ constitutes, it suggests that leather from deforested areas may still be used. Source
8. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective policy to minimize environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes, e.g. by waste water treatment or by vegetable tanning? Burberry reports recognizing three certifications, among which the Leather Working Group (LWG), but only about 55% (by m2) of the used leather comes from tanneries with one or more of these certifications. The brand is not clear about the scale and impact of this policy. Source
9. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the garments? Burberry has signed the Zero-Discharge Commitment from Greenpeace. Burberry promises to 'eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures that are associated with the making and using of company's products, by 2020'. Source
10. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? According to Greenpeace Burberry has achieved its target to eliminate all PFCs, in line with its commitment (see link, page 5). Source
11. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? Burberry mentions a ban of at least 3 out of the 11 suspect chemical groups from their products. However, apart from PFCs, Burberry is not clear whether these substances can be considered as completely eliminated from the brands garment production. Source
12. Does the brand (company) have a clear target to phase out PVC in their products, and has the brand already achieved a PVC phase out level of more than 90%? Burberry reports to continue to reduce the amount of PVC used in its products, with the aim of replacing PVC with a more sustainable alternative. However, no information about the current status of progress is reported. Source
13. Has the brand (company) a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production, and has the brand already achieved a level of average max. 40 grams of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoes? Burberry does not report a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices. Source
14. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? Burberry mentions a target that 100% of paper and baseboard used in its mainline and concession retail packaging comes from certified sources and that all baseboard and ribbon are made of 100% recycled material by 2017. However, Burberry does not report on the status of this target, other than ‘on plan’. Source
15. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? Burberry communicates a waste reduction policy, but does not report on the overall performance. Source
16. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? Burberry does not report, whether the return or re-use of garments and / or shoes by its customers is stimulated. A repair service for its apparel items is not offered in any case. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

6 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? Burberry mentions all standards in Burberry Ethical Trading Policy (see link, pages 3-5). Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? Burberry mentions all these rights in the Burberry Ethical Trading Policy (see link, pages 4 & 5). Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? Burberry mentions this right with reference to parallel means for the situation of law restrictions in the Burberry Ethical Trading Policy (see link, page 3). Source
4. Does this labour conditions policy also apply further down the production chains, at least covering the leather production or the animal farms? Burberry's supplier Code of Conduct is applicable for all its suppliers which includes raw material suppliers (see also source of previous question, page 1). Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Burberry states that the majority of its products is manufactured in Europe (mainly Italy), but does not publish a list of direct suppliers. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? Burberry is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? Burberry is a member of the ETI, which means that Labour Unions and/or business-independent NGOs have a formal and co-decisive voice within the initiative and are co-responsible for the integrity and credibility of the initiative. Source
8. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? Burberry mentions a capacity building programme with strategic Italian vendors which aims to increase their ability to manage the working conditions within their sub-contractors and introduce their own ethical trading monitoring programmes. However, concrete results, such as wages increased or working hours decreased, are not reported. Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? In its 2015/2016 annual report, Burberry mentions that 765 audits, visits and trainings were carried out in its global supply chain. However, Burberry does not publicly report outcomes or results of its policies to improve labor conditions at its suppliers nor is it clear if the audits cover at least 90% of the entire volume. Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? Burberry does not provide concrete information about implemented measure results to establish the payment of living wages at its direct suppliers. Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the leather, yarn and fabric production phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? Burberry does not report on concrete results of its labour conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases. Source
14. Are at least 50% of the brand's leather, yarn and fabric production phases approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source