This is very much a journey and one that all businesses need to embark on."
With a prestigious heritage extending back many centuries and worth £48 billion to the British Economy, Walpole recognised that the British luxury sector had both the opportunity and responsibility to carve a name for itself as a sustainability leader. In January 2020 Walpole launched its sustainability manifesto with this aim, supported by strategic partner McKinsey & Company.
Throughout the course of 2020, iconic British luxury brands including Burberry, dunhill, Harrods, Johnstons of Elgin, Mulberry, The Savoy and Chivas Brothers among many others have come together regularly in working groups facilitated by Walpole to share their passion, knowledge and expertise with one another and to galvanise collective action that is powering the sector forward in achieving this important goal.
These working groups are divided into categories including automotive; beauty & grooming; fashion & accessories; food & drink; hospitality & services; jewellery, watches & precious metals; interior design & craftsmen; media; and retail, with a purpose of discussing the following topics:
Striving to become a carbon neutral business
Sustainable packaging innovation
Responsible sourcing and traceability
Circularity – extending product life, upcycling, repairing and using healthier, sustainable materials
Conserving water quality and availability
Promoting diversity and inclusion and nurturing new talent
Responsible chemical management
Reducing operational waste
Guiding suppliers/stakeholders towards sustainable practices
Advocacy for and demonstration of equal and respectful working conditions
Safeguarding environment and natural resources
Low carbon manufacturing and renewable energy
“Sustainability is firmly on the agenda of the British luxury sector, which has always been committed to quality of the highest order and strong values which run through luxury brands’ DNA. Walpole members have focused that commitment over the course of the last year and prioritised their sustainability strategies, coming together in our working groups to share their knowledge and insight and to collectively produce new innovation and solve the problems that stand in their way. They’ve made real progress. This is very much a journey and one that all businesses need to embark on. The luxury sector has much insight and is very willing to share its knowledge with others as collaboration is crucial across businesses and geographical borders.”
Helen Brocklebank, CEO of Walpole
To request a copy of Walpole’s Sustainability Report, please email the below contacts:
Stephanie Robinson [email protected]
Aligned to the UN Sustainability Goals, Walpole’s Sustainability Manifesto, aims to set industry best practice aspirations in sustainability for the British luxury sector with four overarching principles: