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LVMH renews sustainability status through Green Week partnership

June 4, 2014

Promotional image for Green Week 2014 Promotional image for Green Week 2014


Luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton is spreading news of its ecologically sound practices through its third annual participation in the European Commission’s Green Week.

LVMH will be hosting its own internal Green Week parallel to the summit happening in Brussels, creating a learning environment for its employees. Having this continued initiative for its own personnel will help LVMH spread ecological practices to all of its operations, from production to administration.

"Climate change is a strong topic around the world, not only for businesses but the world's population," said John Casey, senior vice president of Havas Public Relations, New York.

"A ground swell of global activity around climate and the environment will likely pick-up during the coming year as the United Nations moves toward establishing a new international climate change agreement in 2015," he said. 'Thus, brands have an opportunity to show their commitment for climate action, and demonstrate their sustainability initiatives to their customers, and by participating in events like the European Commission Green Week."

Mr. Casey is not affiliated with LVMH but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

LVMH was unable to comment.

Seeing green
Green Week, which opened June 3, is a summit for those interested in preserving the environment to speak and share their ideas.

This year, the topic is “Circular Economy,” referring to the alternative to the current “linear” economy, which uses and depletes a lot of resources, as well as creating waste. The circular concept finds ways to reuse materials, minimizing waste and energy.

Green Week diagram

Diagram demonstrating a circular economy

In a circular economy products are designed to be sustainable, both in production and consumer use.

LVMH is using Green Week as an opportunity to share best practices on recycling, reuse and resource conservation with its employees. The company will publish informative guides daily through June 5, the last day of the summit.

In the first two-page document, LVMH defines a circular economy for its 110,000 employees, giving the example of a power plant in Denmark that sells steam to companies, which then use it for heat or production.

LVMH has used social media to tell its followers about its participation in the event, sharing praise from the European commissioner on the environment.

LVMH Green Week 2014 tweet

Tweet from LVMH

Green Week in 2013 gathered together around 2,100 attendees from government, business, NGOs, academia and media.

"The European Commission offers companies and organizations who show a particular interest in proactively showcasing what they consider good environmental practices an opportunity to do so at Green Week," said Astrid Ladefoged, deputy head of the unit for coordination, strategy and communication, the team responsible for organizing Green Week, at the European Commission, Brussels.

"As Green Week is Europe's largest environmental event, it attracts thousands of people interested in debating environmental practices as well as significant media attention," she said. "The Commission engages with many partners in organizing this event, including companies such as LVMH.

"Green Week is an opportunity for any company that wish to exchange views and good practices on environmental management with other companies and take part in the debates about the environment policies that are under discussion."

Fashionable focus
Luxury brands recognize the importance of their environmental impact, and are taking action to help save the environment.

Conglomerate Kering spoke at the third Copenhagen Fashion Summit on sustainability to highlight its work.

Since the first Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2009, Kering has been a keynote speaker at the biennial event. Kering was able to position itself as a leader in sustainability practices among luxury brands and companies through this participation (see story).

LVMH's individual brands are also finding ways to make an ecological impact.

For instance, French fashion house Kenzo, part of LVMH, partnered with Britain-based conservation group Blue Marine Foundation to help protect the oceans through fashion.

Kenzo has launched a Blue takeover of both its London flagship store and its Web site, as well as a capsule collection to benefit the organization designed by the label’s creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. As consumers are more and more interested in ecological causes, seeing a fashion brand take initiative on an issue will have a positive impact (see story).

This will allow LVMH as an entity to showcase what it is currently doing in sustainability, while also planting seeds for future initiatives.

"Participating in the event will allow LVMH to tout their sustainability initiatives and at the same time demonstrate their interest and concern for the environment," Mr. Casey said.

"LVMH can best leverage its participation in the event, from a publicity standpoint, by demonstrating its best practices approaches particularly as they relate to the circular economy theme of the Green Week event, and how LMVH is saving resources, creating jobs, and building awareness among their customers about the need to protect the environment," he said.

Final Take

Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York