Luxury and fashion giant LVMH on Tuesday announced a major accord with United Arab Emirates mall developers at COP28 in Dubai, designed to reduce water use and boost waste management.
In a related move, LVMH also unveiled a fresh Amazon sustainability project targeting biodiversity projects in Brazil, and trumpeted support for a ‘Sustainable Market’ pavilion by Stella McCartney, a fashion house controlled by the conglomerate.
LVMH director of image and environment Antoine Arnault signed the mall accord with four leading real estate developers in the UAE – Chalhoub Group, Emaar Malls, Majid Al Futtaim and Aldar Properties. Its goal: to minimize the environmental impact of shopping centers in a region, where much commercial and social life takes place in malls.
The signing and the announcement was the latest move by LVMH to burnish the conglomerate’s overall reputation rather than those of its stable of some 70 luxury brands that includes Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dom Perignon, Fendi, Sephora and Hennessy.
The activations are all part of LVMH’s Life 360, the group’s environmental action program, based on four pillars: the fight against climate change, the protection of biodiversity, creative circularity, and traceability.
“In keeping with the ambitious sustainability goals set by LVMH as part of our Life 360 roadmap, the Life in Stores initiative is key to optimizing our stores’ environmental performance and reducing their footprint. Our maisons strive to offer customers a unique experience, and we adhere to the highest standards, from the design and operation of our stores to the focus we place on our customers and society. These two new commitments with major local partners in the UAE and in Florida (United States), announced today, are an important step in aligning our commitment to excellence in distribution with our climate ambitions. This requires an ongoing effort to improve the environmental performance of our 5,600+ stores worldwide,” said Arnault, who signed the mall agreement on Saturday.
In Florida, LVMH is active with the Miami Design District (MDD), a neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining. The partnership between the group and MDD will involve the 15 LVMH luxury marques that rent commercial premises in Miami Design District, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Berluti, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari and Hublot.
“We are delighted to be able to expand our collaboration with Miami Design District as we progress towards greater sustainability, and we encourage other industry players to join us,” said Antoine Arnault, the eldest son of LVMH controlling shareholder Bernard Arnault.
Inspired by Stella McCartney’s sustainability street market staged in Paris during her most recent show in October, the designer’s new pavilion in Dubai showcased regenerative cotton from Söktas, and start-up BioFluff, a 100% plant-based alternative to animal fur. McCartney and LVMH bubbly brand Veuve Clicquot also highlighted a Frayme bag, made in a fabric from recycled winegrowing waste.
In the Amazon, LVMH is investing €1 million in its partnership with For Amazon Sustainability (FAS) to balance environmental protection with sustainable development that respects local cultural contexts, and combats deforestation.
LVMH’s overall objective is to regenerate 5 million hectares of wildlife habitat worldwide, and to limit the environmental impact of its activities, the group said in a release.
The Paris-based, family-controlled luxe empire also took pains to announce the first results of its partnership with Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA), formalized in November 2022 at COP 27 in Egypt. As a result, some 500 farmers were identified and trained around Lake Chad; 12 hectares were reserved to act as a laboratory and training center; and a 0.5-hectare tree nursery launched to supply the plants that farmers need.
The group said it was “delighted” that Berluti — where Antoine has been CEO for a decade – has become the first luxury Maison worldwide to reach Full Project certification from the Forest Stewardship Council in its Berluti store at the Mall of Emirates, owned by Majid al-Futtaim Properties, a signatory of the Mall accord.
“We are delighted with the FSC certification of the first Maison Berluti store. Thanks to its commitment, the LVMH Group is doing its bit to help conserve forests, through an innovative, brand-new project in the luxury sector. The FSC project certification also demonstrates the commitment of all stakeholders involved, from architects to artisans. Ensuring the wood materials used in construction or development projects are responsibly sourced is essential to supporting the eco-responsible approach of managers of certified forests. At a time when forests are facing so many crises (climate change, biodiversity loss), they can also provide solutions,” said Aurélien Sautière, Executive Director, FSC France.
On Monday, editors and media received save the date emails to a Life 360 Summit in UNESCO in Paris, where the group will announce the results of three years of work on the environment.
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