Global media company Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, GQ, The New Yorker, Wired and others, has committed to becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2030.
“While governments, businesses and many volunteer organizations around the world are trying to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge of the global climate crisis is, of course, not going away and companies like ours must do their part,” Wolfgang Blau, global chief operating officer and president of international at Condé Nast, said in a release with the Wednesday announcement.
According to Condé Nast’s own sustainability assessment — which was issued alongside the carbon-neutrality announcement — 92% of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions arose from its supply chain, and not corporate operations, in 2018. If the company continues to chip away at about 10% of those supply-chain emissions every year, it believes it can hit its carbon-neutral goal by 2030.
Condé Nast’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 goes beyond the targets set out in a 2018 IPCC report, which suggested emissions need to be at net-zero by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius. In addition to the 10% supply-chain pledge, the publisher has set an initial target of a 20% in corporate emissions by the end of 2021. It will also work with suppliers to transition to more sustainable materials, with a commitment to use 100% sustainably-sourced paper, certified by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), by the end of 2021.
The announcement comes as the pandemic leaves the global fashion industry reconsidering its social responsibilities moving forward, including sustainability. A group of designers including Dries Van Noten, Gabriela Hearst and Marine Serre have signed an open letter proposing an overhaul to the fashion calendar, in order to make their businesses “more environmentally and socially sustainable,” Vogue reported.
The future of the fashion show has also been much debated, with Marc Jacobs telling Vogue Global Conversations last month: “The way we present a show, it feels like that probably will never exist as we know it, the way we did it.”
Some fashion brands are taking their own steps already. Chanel has committed to halving its carbon emissions by 2030 under a 1.5°-aligned set of sustainability targets. Burberry BRBY, -2.47% has committed to reducing its operational emissions by 95% by 2022.
Condé Nast has also rolled out what it’s calling a sustainable-fashion glossary, positioning it as a collaboration to drive change in the world of fashion, design and style. The 250-term-and-counting digital guide has been created by the publisher in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, University of Arts London. Key words so far include: transparency, carbon offsetting and biodiversity.