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POSITIVE LUXURY AWARDS: A Q&A WITH BAKER MCKENZIE’S ALYSSA AUBERGER

The Positive Luxury Awards honour innovation in every aspect of ESG, highlighting leading organisations and driving a global conversation about the future of our industry. The awards are supported by leading global law firm Baker McKenzie, advisers to many luxury brands. We caught up with Baker McKenzie’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Alyssa Auberger, to find out what impressed her about the shortlisted applicants, and what role luxury brands can play in making the world more sustainable.

Why did Baker McKenzie choose to sponsor the Positive Luxury Awards?

Baker McKenzie has a longstanding relationship with the luxury industry, advising many luxury and fashion brands. Over time we have seen the need for the luxury industry to respond to increasing consumer and stakeholder demand to become more sustainable and we believe that luxury brands are in a unique place to use their influence to drive positive change not just within their own brand but across the entire industry. And – in our view, industry-wide collaboration is essential to drive long-term change at the scale needed to make a true positive impact. For us, sponsoring these awards is a reflection of our commitment to the industry and to sustainability – and is one small way we can help promote those who are developing creative solutions to address sustainability!

What has impressed you about the shortlisted applicants?

So many things impressed me about the shortlisted applicants but if I had to focus on just one, I’d say their audacity to build businesses that break the mould, that place a commitment to sustainability so high on their agenda and that build sustainability into their business from the outset. Of course, there is also an incredible amount of innovation across all of the candidates that illustrates such a long-term view and understanding of how the industry needs to work together – collaborating to create systemic change – and the way some applicants are developing not just their own brand, but developing tools that can be used to improve performance across the industry.

What role do you think luxury brands can play in making the world more sustainable?

I believe that luxury brands can lead by example when it comes to sustainability, in part because authenticity is part of the luxury experience. For example, luxury brands can lead the way in using technology to enhance transparency across their supply chains or helping their suppliers improve their own practices to reduce environmental and social harm, or when it comes to meaningful steps on diversity, well-being and showing that they care about all of their stakeholders. The luxury sector really can respond to consumer demand and the enhanced importance consumers and the world at large are placing on being more sustainable – and can leverage their credibility to show other brands how to get on the right track.

What does sustainability mean to Baker McKenzie?

Sustainability at Baker McKenzie means, put simply, building a law firm for the future – one that supports our clients’ success and helps them move from aspiration to action on sustainability, of course, but also supports our people, our communities and our planet. We are also a global business in our own right – and we are part of something bigger than ourselves. That means that we have a duty to address our impact on the environment, and to use our knowledge to work with policy-shaping organisations to help business understand how they can take action to progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other sustainability-related topics of importance to society at large.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AWARDS HERE

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