1.618 Sustainable Luxury: Sustainable Development Is a Must-Have For Luxury Brands

11 April 2014

The fourth edition of the 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Fair, an annual meeting place for key players in luxury development, took place in Paris from 4th – 6th April 2014, in partnership with HEC Paris as part of Sustainable Development Week. At the end of the round table, led by HEC Paris professors Anne Michaut and Jean-Noël Kapferer, the HEC Paris and 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Prize was awarded to shipbuilder Supiore, and the ‘Coup-de-coeur’ special prize was given to oyster-farmer Tarbouriech.

1.618 Sustainable Luxury : Le développement durable, un impératif pour les marques de luxe - HEC Paris 2014

According to Jean-Noël Kapferer, HEC Paris Professor and specialist in Luxury Brands, “Real Luxury is by definition, sustainable.” For him, luxury and sustainable development share the same preoccupation with beauty and scarcity (see ‘All That Glitters is Not Green: The Challenge of Sustainable Luxury’). If today, this dimension of luxury matches the expectations of consumers, the globalization and massification of luxury have increased the environmental and social impact of the sector.  

In order to discuss the concerns related to sustainable development in the Luxury Industry, on 3rd April 2014 HEC Paris organized the round table “Luxury and Sustainability 360°” as part of the 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Fair. This event, which took place from 4th – 6th April 2014 at the Carreau du Temple in Paris for the fourth year running, brought together brands, entrepreneurs, thinkers, academics, NGOs and artists who rallied together to demonstrate how sustainable development is compatible with art, creativity and innovation, as well as to (re)define the luxury of the 21st century.

Arnaud Deschamps, Director-General of Nespresso France, and Bertrand Chovet, Managing Director of Interbrand Paris, spoke alongside Jean-Noël Kapferer at the HEC Paris round table, chaired by Anne Michaut, affiliate professor at HEC Paris  and co-ordinator of the Kering Luxury Certificate.

The debate showed that above and beyond the necessary consideration for the impact of the activities of luxury brands on the environment, sustainable development must be approached from a 360° perspective. The activities of providers and distributors, and the impact of marketing and communication as well as all other activities of luxury brands which may have a potential impact, must all be taken into consideration simultaneously.

At the end of the debate, Anne Michaut and Jean-Noël Kapferer awarded the “HEC Paris & 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Award” to Supiore, a manufacturer of luxury boats, 100% electric (from the Mobility Category) and the “Coup-de-Coeur” Special Prize to the Oysters from “Seven by Florie Tabouriech” (from the Gastronomy Category).

These two graduates are amongst the forty French and Foreign Businesses picked out by 1.618 to participate in the “Lifestyle Fair” based on creative, ethical and aesthetic criteria combined with a sustainable approach.

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