Lvmh organises a court for future generations

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How can attention be drawn to the subject of environmental responsibility when the avalanche of press releases and conferences is beginning to bore the media, the general public and employees ?

 

The Lvmh group has shown its imagination. On Wednesday 11 May, it organized a Tribunal for future generations in a highly symbolic place: the amphitheater of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

 

Transformed into a courtroom, it was the perfect setting for an exercise that was both entertaining and instructive, halfway between a trial and an oratorical joust. The number one luxury brand did not hesitate to step out of its comfort zone, by associating itself for the occasion with Usbek & Rica magazine, known for its rather left-wing tone.

 

Antoine Arnault in the audience.

 

The idea was to get the audience to react to a question, leading to strong positions, namely: “Can we give back to the living what we have taken from it?”

 

In the audience, installed in the amphitheatre, were invited employees, apprentices and managers of the group, representatives of environmental protection and some journalists. Among them, wearing a casual shirt, was Antoine Arnault, the son of Bernard Arnault, CEO of Berluti and chairman of Loro Piana.

 

In the courtroom: a president (the journalist Karine Vergniol), a lawyer and a prosecutor (Blaise Mao and Thierry Keller, the co-founders of Usbek & Rica), a cartoonist (Tommy Dessine), and a jury. The jury was chaired by Astrid Tarteret, the founder of Fermes En ViE, and included two employees of the group (Jean-Baptiste Barthes, Berluti’s vice-president of operations and know-how, and Sandrine Sommer, Moët-Hennessy’s director of sustainable development) and six personalities from civil society, associations or companies involved in the issue (Earthworm Foundation, Fresque du climat, Reforest’Action, La ferme voyageuse, Young Farmers, etc.).

 

The witnesses, who were asked to answer the question mentioned above, included three specialists and recognised defenders of the environment: the lawyer Marine Calmet, who specialises in environmental and indigenous law, Pierre Cannet, the Director of Advocacy at WWF France, and Laura Magro, the Deputy Director of the European Centre of Excellence in Biomimicry in Senlis.  But also, on behalf of Lvmh, Hélène Valade, the group’s environmental development director.

 

Lvmh’s environmental director gently pushed around.

 

They were all able to answer the lawyer and the prosecutor, asking them about the room for manoeuvre that human beings still have to compensate for the harm they cause to the environment. While the first three were able to highlight their actions, Hélène Valade was gently pushed by the prosecutor : how, as a company, can you continue to grow while respecting nature ? How can you do this when your customers are always asking for more products? The well-prepared environmental development director did not let herself be pushed around. She pleaded for a third way, between the two extremes of growth and degrowth, that of a “growth that regenerates life”, which Lvmh supports. She recalled that the first responsibility of her group was to offer “products that last”, that “are passed on from generation to generation”. Lvmh also participates in the circular economy, by repairing its customers’ shoes or wallets or by using more and more recycled materials. Like cashmere, which in its regenerated form emits 455% less CO2 than its virgin version. During the covid crisis, Lvmh continued to open workshops, not only creating jobs but also equipped with production tools adapted to recycled fibres.  But the luxury leader is also involved in actions to regenerate nature. For example, in Peru, a partnership with the Peruvian government has made it possible to reconstitute herds of vicuñas, whose ultra-soft wool is probably the most expensive and luxurious in the world. There are now around 400,000 of the once endangered species.

 

Verdict.

 

The prosecutor and the lawyer also each made a plea. The former was unapologetically pessimistic, and considered it impossible to give back to the living what man had taken from him. He suggested that humans should be “parked” in urban centres in order to protect natural areas. The second argued for yes and optimism in action. And he did so by inviting the example of a young Australian entrepreneur who made his fortune in computers and bought a group of coal-fired power stations…in order to close them and replace them with wind and solar farms.

 

Finally, as in any self-respecting trial, there had to be a verdict. The Jury decided by a hair’s breadth, voting yes (“you can give back to the living what you have taken from them”) by five votes to four for no. Called upon to vote by scanning a QR, under the supervision of a bailiff, the public also answered in the affirmative, with 55% of the votes cast.  A small gap, while the environment itself is dancing on a volcano…

 

 

Lire aussi > THE CEO OF LVMH IS ACCLAIMED BY ITS SHAREHOLDERS

 

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How can attention be drawn to the subject of environmental responsibility when the avalanche of press releases and conferences is beginning to bore the media, the general public and employees ?

 

The Lvmh group has shown its imagination. On Wednesday 11 May, it organized a Tribunal for future generations in a highly symbolic place: the amphitheater of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

 

Transformed into a courtroom, it was the perfect setting for an exercise that was both entertaining and instructive, halfway between a trial and an oratorical joust. The number one luxury brand did not hesitate to step out of its comfort zone, by associating itself for the occasion with Usbek & Rica magazine, known for its rather left-wing tone.

 

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How can attention be drawn to the subject of environmental responsibility when the avalanche of press releases and conferences is beginning to bore the media, the general public and employees ?

 

The Lvmh group has shown its imagination. On Wednesday 11 May, it organized a Tribunal for future generations in a highly symbolic place: the amphitheater of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

 

Transformed into a courtroom, it was the perfect setting for an exercise that was both entertaining and instructive, halfway between a trial and an oratorical joust. The number one luxury brand did not hesitate to step out of its comfort zone, by associating itself for the occasion with Usbek & Rica magazine, known for its rather left-wing tone.

 

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