The Chanel-CISL partnership builds on Chanel’s sustainability visionEnric / Wikimedia Commons

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) announced a three-year partnership with Chanel earlier this week (27/04), which hopes to deliver “tailored sustainability education programmes” and “innovative operational projects” at Chanel.

The collaboration will additionally give out “scholarships focused on driving greater inclusion” at the University of Cambridge.  

An “education and sustainability leadership programme” will be curated for Chanel employees to augment their knowledge on sustainability. Key areas like biodiversity, climate change and resource management will be covered during the course of the programme to equip Chanel employees with relevant knowledge to “advance practical sustainability solutions to specific business and societal challenges including how to reduce and avoid carbon emissions and address biodiversity loss.” 

The Chanel-CISL partnership will also see the launch of three 18-month long “innovative operational projects” seeking to “accelerate innovation within Chanel on business challenges and opportunities”. 

Each project will develop its own sustainability agenda and collaterally draw insights from a range of expertise across the University of Cambridge. This includes the Institute of Manufacturing, the Cambridge Judge Business School and the University's climate initiative, Cambridge Zero. Following this, CISL will help facilitate the prototyping and implementation of conceptualised ideas within Chanel. 

Chanel will sponsor individuals from under-represented backgrounds hoping to enroll in CISL’s Masters in Sustainability Leadership Programme during the course of their three-year partnership with CISL. Furthermore, the company is also looking forward to working with and engaging students from the University of Cambridge to promote the application of innovative ideas in operational settings. 


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Andrea d’Avack, Chief Sustainability Officer at Chanel, said that the company is “delighted to partner with one of the world’s most prestigious universities and academic institutes” in spurring “educational initiatives that will help embed a sustainability mindset to accelerate change.”

The Chanel-CISL partnership builds on Chanel’s vision to “work with leading academic institutions, mission-driven sustainability organisations, NGOs, industry associations and governments around the world to support research and action on topics key to its sustainable transformation journey.”

Clare Shine, Director and Chief Executive Officer at CISL, highlighted the significance of this new partnership, hoping that CISL’s “unrivalled track record of building leadership capability, advancing knowledge and delivering real-world solutions” will help fulfil Chanel’s aim to “shape the world of luxury, inform leadership and best practices, and inspire responsible businesses around the world.”