Kering, LVMH, L’Occitane, Natura and H&M are all in Montreal this week for this year’s UN Biodiversity Conference, COP15. With several attending the event for the first time, it’s a sign that the fashion and beauty industries are waking up to the biodiversity crisis and their own role in accelerating it — a major shift from just a few years ago when biodiversity was absent from fashion’s sustainability agenda.
“It’s the first biodiversity COP where the private sector is really present and pushing for an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework, often even more ambitious than what the country-level negotiators are heading towards,” says Géraldine Vallejo, Kering’s sustainability programme director, from the event. “We are hoping that the negotiators will agree on the level of ambition that is necessary. We also expect that next year, the fashion sector will have its own dedicated stream!”
Already, fashion has made a splash with a string of announcements during the conference, which runs until Monday. Kering and L’Occitane launched a fund for protecting nature at scale, with €140 million committed out of the €300 million target, meant to “mobilise resources” from luxury fashion and beauty to protect and restore nature, as well as focusing on women’s empowerment.
LVMH is participating in the development of standards for a risk management framework intended to help companies better map their impacts on nature as a member of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), which it joined last month. The conglomerate also said it’s strengthening its collaboration with Unesco and is launching a second programme to restore forest cover and strengthen the development of a regenerative economy in Indigenous communities in the southern Ecuadorian and northern Peruvian Amazon, under its partnership with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. (The first project, focused on agroforestry in Chad, was announced at COP27 in November.)