The luxury industry is not doing its bit to save the planet, according to a World Wildlife Fund study of the world's 10 largest publicly-traded luxury firms.
In a study completed at the end of last month, the WWF environmental group chided luxury brands for being "slow to recognise their responsibilities and opportunities" vis-a-vis global warming and ethical trade and called on celebrities who help sell the brands to sit up and take note.
"Many luxury consumers are part of an affluent global elite that is increasingly well educated and concerned about social and environmental issues," said the WWF-UK study.
"Successful people now want the brands they use to reflect their concerns and aspirations for a better world."
But the best score obtained by the world's 10 luxury giants in the WWF's ranking of A to F -- best score to worst score -- was a C+ by French luxury group L'Oreal. It was followed by Hermes and LVMH (owners notably of Louis Vuitton, TAG Heuer, Fendi, Marc Jacobs and top champagnes), both also of France and both also scoring C+s.
Bottom of the chart was Italian shoe and leather goods Tods, with an F. Italy's Bulgari jeweller and luxury goods came second last, also with an F, while Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont was third to bottom with a D.
The ranking, WWF said, was based firstly on reports by the companies themselves to the Ethical Investment Research Service (EIEIS) and secondly on media reports collected on these companies by a Geneva-based research house, Covalence.
"Luxury companies must do more to justify their value in an increasingly resource-constrained and unequal world," WWF said.
"Given its global brand power the luxury industry should demonstrate greater leadership on this agenda."
Likewise celebrities who lend their names to watch, bag and jewellery marketing campaigns should pay greater attention to a firm's green credentials, the group.
It cited in example Tods' first celebrity ambassador, actress Sienna Miller, who campaigns against climate change with Global Cool but also endorses a group that registered bottom of the WWF table. "Tods may represent a liability to Sienna Miller's reputation," WWF said.
"We call on celebrities worldwide to endorse only brands that are committing to social and environmental responsibility," it added.