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Case Study - Mulberry

Biocensus supported Mulberry in developing an evidence-based anti-deforestation purchasing policy as part of their ongoing commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Mulberry_vertical lock-upEnglish design company and luxury leather fashion bag producers Mulberry are keen to ensure that the leather, timber, paper and cardboard they use does not directly or indirectly cause deforestation of some of the planet’s most important areas such as the Amazon rainforest.

Production of beef, leather and other cattle products has a track record of being associated with deforestation. Supply chain information on the source of raw materials is often at best opaque, making it challenging for companies to get the level of confidence they want in terms of ethical purchasing.

Mulberry brought in ecological consultancy Biocensus to help them review all relevant scientific environmental literature to set their anti-deforestation purchasing policy in context and to ensure it is based on the best available evidence.

Dorothy Lovell, CSR Coordinator for Mulberry said: As well as being expert in biodiversity issues, Biocensus has a good understanding of the sustainability challenges faced by business, and this is what made them the right partner for us on this project.

Biocensus provided an independent and scientific view to the policy, helping to draft and review the text, as well as providing the environmental context for the policy and advising on its structure.

Biocensus Managing Director Tim Hounsome said: “Mulberry have done a good thing. Being ecologically sound makes good economic sense.”

“Historically ecologists and businesses have been seen as inhabiting very separate camps but that’s not the way things are working now. A number of key players are beginning to see the true value of this type of work. No company wants its brand to be linked to such emotive issues as deforestation and extinctions and ensuring it isn’t a risk just makes common sense.”

Such evidence-based policies can significantly reduce a company’s environmental and reputational risk and drive more clarity about their supply chains including identifying gaps in supply chain knowledge.

Related links:

http://www.mulberry.com/investor-relations/pdf/approach.pdf

http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2009/07/22/nikes-new-leather-policy-no-sourcing-amazon-rainforest

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