Hermès is looking to amplify its biodiversity efforts and secure its supply chain against the risks posed by climate change.
In a note to its shareholders, the French luxury detailed the firm’s current and new measures that would be taken from now on. For one, its strategic supplies, such as leather, cashmere and silk, are being sourced from renewable sources. For example, Hermès revealed that all its leathers are now byproducts of the food industry, with more than 90 percent of those byproducts sourced from France and the rest of Europe.
The improvement has come after the company conducted a risk assessment last year, which measured the impact of various materials and textiles that are used to make Hermès products on climate change and biodiversity. The assessment analyzed how the production of these products contributed to various natural disasters, including drought, rising temperatures, heatwaves and hurricanes.
“The group has adopted a systematic approach to analyzing its sources of supply, with clear diagnosis of the stakes and risks involved in each one, carried out with specialized firms,” said the company.
“Based on this information, the group reinforces the security of its supplies; we may implement a diversification policy to limit our dependency on suppliers where necessary, and build up security stocks. If necessary, stakes may be acquired to secure these relationships and sources.”
To further improve its sustainability efforts, Hermès will be turning to a committee it created last year to find additional ways to upcycle materials such as silk and cashmere and find alternative ways to reuse production offcuts.
Chief Executive Officer Axel Dumas also noted that the company’s products have superior quality and that they are built to last longer. In 2020, the company only made 120,000 repairs.
“We handcraft high-quality objects designed to last using transparent supply chains, respectful of biodiversity.”
Furthermore, the company is spending “several tens of millions of euros per year” on efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Hermès launched a diagnosis of its biodiversity footprint based on the Global Biodiversity Score assessment, a tool that establishes and measures corporate and financial commitments for biodiversity.
Hermès has also established various scientific partnerships surrounding the sustainability of its production of ostrich leather, crocodile leather and silk as well as its water footprint.