Making biodiversity conservation and protected areas relevant to business demands an integrated approach. It must integrate methods for measuring business impact and dependencies on nature, include clear communication on what this means for a business in terms of risk and opportunity, and involve collaboration to identify actions and define approaches that will underpin the business’s contribution to conservation. Kering and its Brands are doing this through their Environmental Profit & Loss Account, their commitment to the ‘sustainable sourcing’ of raw materials, and using partnerships with NGOs to enhance and expand sustainable sourcing opportunities.
Contributing to the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems through the establishment of protected areas is a ‘global good’. However, it is challenging to clearly articulate why this is a priority, is relevant to business success, and how business can make its contribution. It is only with this information that business can make a more significant contribution, by both reducing threats to biodiversity and promoting the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.
This case study focuses on some examples of new sourcing approaches for key raw materials (e.g. wool, leather, precious skins) for Kering’s luxury brands. The project serves as an example of how companies can integrate protection of biodiversity into their business approaches and how this can lead to increased support of protected areas.
The “solution” is ongoing but some “key lessons” so far include:
- Leadership is essential to support business-driven engagement for new approaches.
- There is a need for clarity on methodology for measuring impact and showing results of more sustainable approaches.
- Defining “sustainable” sourcing (production) is challenging. Current certifications are limited in their scope.
- Linking sustainable production to protected areas through the provision of ecosystem services can be an important approach, but requires landscape-level perspectives and collaboration.