Making the Luxury Experience Sustainable
September 7, 2018 /3BL Media/ - The issues of urban access, congestion and pollution affect us all – even retail luxury brands.
Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), for example, is changing its business model to meet two of the 21st century’s greatest challenges: e-commerce and urbanization.
Christian Galichon, LVMH Sourcing’s director of purchasing coordination, thinks about these logistics conundrums every day.
Below he shares how LVMH and its brands are evolving alongside consumer demands while advancing the group’s ambitious sustainability goals.
Longitudes: Can you share some new approaches to sustainability at LVMH?
Galichon: At LVMH, our commitment to sustainable business practices spans our value chains from sourcing to end of life. Our brands have different business models, and the sustainability issues they are facing are just as diverse.
Louis Vuitton and Bulgari are addressing sustainable materials sourcing for handbags and jewelry while Krug is working on water conservation. Through the LVMH Initiatives For the Environment (LIFE) program, we’re embedding nine sustainability principles into day-to-day brand operations with 2020 goals and targets for products, emissions, facilities and supply chain engagement.
In addition to the LIFE program, we have separate targets and initiatives for social responsibility efforts. These include programs centered on human rights, diversity and the prevention of discrimination, skills development, working conditions, listening to and talking with employees and local community engagement.
Longitudes: How has LVMH’s business changed in the age of e-commerce?
Galichon: Increased e-commerce and restrictions on urban delivery in some markets are adding more constraints to how we deliver products to our customers in exceptional and sustainable ways that reinforce the LVMH experience.
As purchasing shifts from in-store where we can provide a suite of options and personalized touches to the “on-demand” world of e-commerce, we have to evolve as well to continue setting our brand apart. The final mile of an online purchase is critically important to ensure the same level of exceptional craftsmanship and luxury experience continues right to the customer’s door.
Longitudes: Why is the final mile of delivery important for LVMH brands?
Galichon: While our LIFE program has different options for different brands, nearly every brand has a plan for sustainable transport and delivery to customers and boutiques.
This means we are very involved with how our logistics partners interact with our brands. The final mile is critical to meet consumer demands, sustainability goals and maintain the luxury experience.
Longitudes: What are some future solutions for creating more sustainable e-commerce and city logistics?
Galichon: Sustainable solutions will require even more collaboration between more stakeholders – retail, logistics and city officials – to meet the evolving demands of our customers while also maintaining our relentless pursuit of excellence and sustainability.
Our customers feel a personal connection to us so our supply chain partners are a natural extension of our brand.
We work with UPS to ensure deliveries, where possible, are made using its fleet of zero-emissions vehicles. The ability to make deliveries via alternative fuel vehicles to our retail stores and directly to e-commerce customers is key in managing our carbon footprint and meeting our customers’ expectations.
As companies work to advance internal goals and address external pressures around reducing emissions, these collaborations across the value chain are becoming more important.
We value UPS’s efforts to implement innovation in city logistics solutions and look forward to working with them on new programs such as consolidated deliveries to our retail locations and sustainable personalized packaging.