We are committed to minimising our impact on the natural environment and to reducing our carbon footprint. In this regard, Richemont established specific, measurable targets for the five years ending March 2018 in respect of carbon intensity for all buildings worldwide and business travel. These targets are among our strategic objectives: achieving them will require the participation of almost every employee. The base line is the average of the last two years’ data (2011/12 and 2012/13). We recognise national and international standards of environmental performance and provide relevant guidance both to our Maisons and to our suppliers in this regard.
Overall, the Group’s activities have a very low direct exposure to the impact of climate change. The production of high quality goods is concentrated in Switzerland and their distribution is spread around the world. Nevertheless, the CSR Committee has considered this matter and has not identified weaknesses in our business model which would be worsened by gradual temperature changes, cases of extreme weather conditions or growing water scarcity. Similarly, the supply of precious raw materials, which is largely controlled by international mining enterprises, metal refiners and gemstone cutters and polishers, is not expected to be disrupted by gradual changes in the natural environment. Richemont has not quantified the financial risks associated with climate change.
Notwithstanding these considerations, we continue to carry out robust energy audits across our businesses and seek to respect the most demanding environmental standards when building new manufacturing facilities. In this way, we play our part in minimising our energy consumption, provide agreeable working spaces for our employees, and thus contribute to the long-term sustainability of our business.
Our Environmental Code of Conduct is built on national and international norms and standards for environmental management. The Code addresses industry-specific issues, such as the environmental impacts of using gold, coloured gemstones and leather, as well as universal environmental issues.
The Code sets a minimum applicable operating standard for all of the Group’s businesses. Each business is expected to implement its own Environmental Management System, tailored to suit its size and type of activity. Improving the quality and scope of our environmental data remains an area of focus.
The CSR Committee reviews environmental performance, determines new initiatives and reports progress to the Board. The targets described in the introduction to this section, (‘context’), were proposed and validated by Richemont’s Environment, Health and Safety Steering Committee.
Richemont’s Internal Audit function includes environmental considerations within its systematic risk analysis and monitors compliance with the Code. Procedures are in place to ensure that non-compliance with the Code is followed up with a programme of remedial action.
With a view to improving the overall management of risks, Richemont launched an Environment, Health and Safety audit programme (that includes environmental considerations) applicable to significant sites (manufacturing, operational and administrative sites). The results are used to drive continuous improvement plans at each location.
The process to achieve certification with the RJC’s Code of Practices, which includes a review of environment matters, has also helped virtually all of our Maisons improve their international environmental management practices. Examples include Cartier’s sourcing of packaging materials and Piaget’s efforts to recycle a wide range of its manufacturing waste products. See case studies for further details.
We calculate our carbon footprint based on the internationally recognised Greenhouse Gas (‘GHG’) Protocol of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (‘WBCSD’). This protocol is the internationally accepted template for accounting and reporting on GHG emissions.
Environmental data are consolidated annually, including the energy we use in our buildings, the fuel consumed as we travel and other elements necessary to calculate our carbon footprint. The data include our subsidiary companies where the Group has management control (defined as equity share approach). The results are disclosed in this CSR report and are communicated internally to employees via the CSR representatives. Since 2011, Richemont’s environmental data has been annually reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and an assurance report has been duly issued and may be found on the Climate Change page of this report.
Whereas no manufacturing sites are currently registered to ISO 14000, Richemont’s EMS (Environmental Management System) is fully based on the principles of ISO 14000.
Separately, the Maisons and Group operations have chosen to use Forestry Stewardship Council-certified paper and packaging materials wherever possible. PEFC-certified paper is sometimes used as an alternative ('Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification' schemes).
Our Maisons engage their employees directly on environment themes in a variety of ways. These range from communications on environmental good practice at work to financially incentivising employees to use public transport. The latter is commonplace within the Group.
Through its Model Supplier Code, the Group’s operations encourage environmentally friendly practices among its direct suppliers and their suppliers. Separately, through the RJC, the Maisons participate in industry-wide efforts to reduce the long-term environmental impact of both large-scale and artisanal mining.
The Group’s CSR Committee has noted the ever-growing number of environmental initiatives reported by local CSR representatives in markets such as Japan, the USA, Hong Kong and Switzerland. The initiatives range from reducing the consumption of electricity in offices to improving the thermal insulation of buildings.
The Group participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (‘CDP’) annual data collection process. Richemont’s 2012 submission received the following ratings by the CDP’s assessors: 79 % for disclosure (2011: 83 %) and level C for performance (2011: C).
We continue to work on improving our infrastructure, energy management and travel policies to limit our emissions. Specifically, we will undertake further site studies to improve energy efficiency and identify opportunities for improvements in personal travel and logistics. We will also reduce non-essential business travel through the greater use of communication technologies, such as video conferencing.
To further improve overall environmental performance, the voluntary setting of environmental targets and objectives will also be considered by the Maisons in due course. Such initiatives are in line with Richemont’s ‘Environmental, Health and Safety Policy’, issued on 1 April 2012, and the associated targets set for the five-year period ending March 2018.