EXCLUSIVE: Parfums Christian Dior Launches Sustainability Strategy

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PARIS — Parfums Christian Dior is unveiling its sustainability strategy, called “Beauty as a Legacy 2030.”

That builds on the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned house’s earlier efforts and includes voluntary reporting.

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“Last year, it was really about intent, and this year is about action,” said Laurent Kleitman, president and chief executive officer of Parfums Christian Dior, calling sustainability a business imperative today.

“Sustainability is not a new concept at Dior,” he said. The brand’s L’Or de Vie skin care packaging was fully refillable 16 years ago, and Rouge Dior lipstick from the Fifties was, as well.

“So there has always been something in the Dior DNA that was about protecting the world at large and nature,” said Kleitman. “And this has to do with the passion of Mr. Dior himself for nature.”

The designer was keen on making the world a happier place and more beautiful for women.

“But what has really changed and triggered our acceleration in the last 12 to 18 months is the urgency that is now being communicated really widely by the scientific community,” said Kleitman.

He explained it’s important to take strong actions now. “Businesses are being called to lead the way,” said Kleitman. “We as businesses have a huge role to play, and we’re all convinced at Dior that the cost of inaction is much higher now than the cost of action.

“We believe as a leading brand, a brand which is viewed and respected, and has the scale and the reach globally, we really have to be more rigorous and precise in putting actions in place,” he said.

“Beauty as a Legacy” summarizes Parfums Christian Dior’s mission, according to Kleitman.

“Whenever you experience a product or a service, or anything that has to do with the Dior brand, we want to not only leave a beautiful self, but a beautiful world,” he said. “Both go really hand-in-hand.”

“Beauty as a Legacy” is a five-pillar strategy meant to mitigate Parfums Christian Dior’s impact on the planet and communities by 2030. The focuses are on: regenerative cultivation, cultural responsibility, responsible beauty, eco-design and climate preservation.

The plan lays the groundwork for more sustainable ways of operating overall.

“Flowers are the keystone of the program we have at Dior,” said Kleitman, adding that Dior himself was an avid gardener. “He always anchored himself in nature.”

Flowers — and ingredients stemming from them — are at the heart of Parfums Christian Dior.

“The extinction of flowers is [happening] much quicker than the extinction of any other species on the planet,” said Kleitman. Therefore, protecting flowers and biodiversity is a must.

As part of regenerative cultivation, Parfums Christian Dior plans to harness the power of flowers to revitalize ecosystems in its gardens and beyond, and to support communities where they are located. The house is also speeding up its transition to organic and/or regenerative agriculture for its signature and key ingredients. Seventy percent of Dior’s gardens already use such practices. Among other commitments is that by 2026, all of the natural raw materials grown in Dior’s gardens and partnering gardens, of which there are 42, will be certified by the Union for Ethical Bio Trade.

“We’re going to invest in research and key partnerships to drive much greater scientific understanding of the powerful role flowers play in sustaining biodiversity, [natural] ecosystems around that and communities,” said Kleitman.

For instance, Parfums Christian Dior is running a program with an organization called Hectar, which is the world’s biggest agricultural campus dedicated to regenerative cultivation. The goal is to launch a scalable education curriculum that is focused on regenerative flower farming by 2023.

This year, Parfums Christian is introducing a biodiversity impact assessment to find the main levers of biodiversity regeneration. The brand invests in partnerships, as well, such as with UNESCO and its Man and the Biosphere Programme.

“We’re not only obsessed by biodiversity for better flowers, but we are also obsessed by better communities around those flowers and maintaining savoir-faire and [its] transmission across generations,” said Kleitman. “This is not nostalgic preservation of old technology. This is forward-looking work.”

Parfums Christian Dior seeks to shape culture positively by advocating diversity through its products and brand communication. It also aims to empower women with goals such as maintaining them in more than half of key company positions and raising the proportion of women in important group positions to above 30 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030, among other initiatives.

As part of the responsible beauty pillar, Parfums Christian Dior says it will ensure that 80 percent of its products contain more than 90 percent of ingredients coming from natural origin by 2030, and that it uses 80 percent biodegradable and non-eco-toxic ingredients by 2030.

The eco-design pillar has among its main commitments the phasing out of virgin fossil plastics from all of its packaging by 2028. Parfums Christian Dior sets out to reduce packaging material weight by 50 percent by 2030.

Regarding the climate, it has outlined numerous targets. These include achieving carbon neutrality of Parfums Christian Dior’s operation sites on scope 1 and 2 in France by 2024. By 2026, all of the electricity on self-operated sites around the world will come from renewable sources.

The three main challenges Kleitman sees today in regard to Parfums Christian Dior’s sustainability push are: mobilizing people internally and externally; ensuring rigor and that measurement tools are in place, and making sure that people are upskilled and educated on the subject.

The quest for sustainable practices “is more about a journey than an end,” said Kleitman. “Because if you really think about it, there is no end — this is a learning process.”


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