As one of its CSR 2020 Plan environmental priorities, Richemont continuously reviews its approach to packaging. Having already committed to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’, we will sustain our focus on two packaging categories: (i) freight for wholesale distribution, and (ii) retail shopping bags and presentation boxes for jewellery, watches and other products. Experience shows that customers tend to keep the presentation boxes, passing them from one generation to the next alongside the watch or jewellery piece.
Richemont and its Maisons have defined appropriates measures and targets in this area, following a study of Shopping Bags regulations around the world. Concerning paper and packaging materials, Maisons and Group operations have chosen, whenever possible, to use 100% responsibly-sourced wood-based materials. Recognised certification schemes include the Forestry Stewardship Council standards linked to recycled content. We will also conduct periodic reviews of product-to-packaging weight ratios.
Our Maison and logistics packaging may contain plastic products. We intend to phase out single-use plastics over time and will evaluate alternatives, including reusable and recyclable materials. The related measurement and evaluation study began in 2018.
Resource use and recycling
Our principal consideration in product design and development is to create high quality articles that will be treasured for generations. This significantly reduces our product disposal impacts. Watches, jewellery and writing instruments account for 85 % of Group sales. Such items, together with the original presentation box, are typically passed from one generation to the next. Alternatively, they may be sold at auction to collectors. The great majority of the Group’s products therefore have no ‘end of life’ in the normal sense of product life cycles. Other products, accounting for 15 % of Group sales, are primarily leather goods and clothing.
We seek to minimise our environmental impact through the responsible sourcing of raw materials, limiting our contribution to climate change, and through the responsible disposal of all waste materials. The Group does not collect data regarding the percentage of packaging materials that are recycled. We encourage our Maisons to take individual responsibility for their own resource use and waste management. The Group does not collect data regarding the weight or volume of materials used in overall production or other operating processes. However, as part of our 2020 Plan we will identify, measure and set appropriate targets for material waste-generation activities at selected sites, particularly at our European manufacturing facilities and our worldwide logistics hubs.
Our commitments to monitoring the consumption of resources and to reducing waste are set out in the current Environmental Code of Conduct. Hazardous materials are treated in accordance with local and international regulations. We encourage management and employees responsible for packing and transporting goods to adopt an energy-efficient strategy through the planning and organisation of shipments.
The Group does not collect data regarding the weight of waste by type and disposal method. Following a review of CSR-related priorities, the Group stopped consolidating waste data in 2009. As part of our 2020 CSR Plan we will identify, measure and set appropriate targets for material waste-generation activities.
Richemont’s Maisons consider the environmental impacts at the design stage for new products, reflecting the sensibilities of the Maisons’ designers and their customers.
In order to ensure the compliance and sustainability of their products, Richemont’s Maisons are further developing their traceability tools while fostering the environmental and social responsibility of their suppliers. The Maisons are particularly committed to ensure the compliance of their products towards all international chemical regulations, such as EU REACH and California Proposition 65. As experience in this area grows, our Maisons are progressively taking a proactive approach to identify and phasing out certain chemicals in order to ensure the security of its employees, customers and the environment.
Three recent examples of continuous improvement in stewardship include (i) the removal of plastic laminates from retail shopping bags across the Group; (iii) smaller boxes for e-commerce deliveries at Peter Millar; and (iii) the launch of BAUME watches. More about BAUME’s approach to responsible thinking, including reusable parts and natural materials, may be found here.