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Client Story


Achieving sustainability commitments through IT transformation

Transforming data, processes and systems to manage sustainability information 

Burberry, the iconic British luxury fashion house, has set a bold strategy to become a £5 billion per annum revenue business over five years. This strategy includes a key focus on sustainability, responding to the increase in customer demand for product transparency, and managing both new and existing regulatory requirements.  

To achieve its objectives, the company would need to transform its data, processes and systems to effectively gather, manage, and audit key sustainability information. Further, this would enable Burberry to communicate their information appropriately to a range of stakeholders: including regulators, shareholders, and consumers. 

Transformation expertise needed to mobilise key sustainability projects 

Burberry’s Sustainability IT team partnered with the Supply Chain, Internal Manufacturing, Corporate Responsibility and Marketing functions to mobilise a set of projects to deliver these aims, focusing on: 

  • Traceability – the ability to map and verify the sourcing of raw materials from origin to finished good. 

  • Authentication – the ability to use a digital ID to authenticate each Burberry product, whilst also enabling future circular business models and digital product opportunities. 

  • Carbon – the ability to leverage the right data from source to effectively measure, manage, and communicate Burberry's carbon position, and support future decision-making. 

The team recognised it needed transformation expertise to help bridge the gap between its ambition and delivery. Having worked with Berkeley to previously lead transformational change, the company again turned to us for help. 

Having worked with Berkeley previously, I was confident they could support the team to rapidly shape our IT approach for meeting the business’ sustainability needs. The Berkeley team were easy to work with and provided the transformation expertise these projects demanded. They were essential in communicating and simplifying the challenges at hand within a dynamic, complex and cross-functional environment.”

Vice President, IT Product, Merchandising & Supply Chain

Building a change roadmap for sustainability and securing leadership buy-in 

Berkeley began working with a skeleton team to prepare these projects. We also partnered with the IT leadership to develop the right capability to manage these projects long-term, and effectively meet and deliver against the demands of anticipated future projects. 

Burberry had previously agreed a number of high-level project assumptions regarding outcomes and budget however, following changes made by new leadership, these required revision. Therefore, one of our key activities was to build a roadmap of change, underpinned by well-evidenced expectations over the rationale, and budget, resourcing and planning requirements. This would help position the portfolio with both C-suite leadership and the cross-functional team that would deliver it. 

Managing partner and supplier relationships for sustainability transformation 

Berkeley also served as a trusted partner to help manage existing relationships with the consultancy organisations in place. Where required, we stepped in to shape and assure the due diligence and planning work completed on behalf of Burberry. 

Once the projects were established, Berkeley helped drive them forward them in the short term, while also securing Burberry resources to run and deliver in the long term. This included establishing the right delivery rigour, putting the correct resource capability in place, and clarifying the scope and project boundaries. We ensured the sponsors understood their role and the relative value each project could deliver for Burberry.

Successfully transitioning transformation leadership to the client 

With our support, the Sustainability IT capability was able to gain recognition from key stakeholders as a valued partner to the business in delivering these projects. The sponsors were engaged and understood the direction and purpose of each project. 

Specific project outcomes included: 

  • Traceability – Burberry successfully selected and mobilised a solution partner. By the time Berkeley completed its engagement, a pilot was underway, with plans for a subsequent two-year roll out. Engagement of vendors and suppliers was also in progress for the early development of the future operating model. 

  • Authentication – A cross-functional team generated a number of options for piloting ahead of a new Chief Customer, Innovation and Digital Officer joining the business.  They completed successful due diligence on rationale, use cases, benefits, and solution providers. 

  • Carbon – Burberry set up an agile delivery team to assess and remediate data quality issues for Scope 3 emissions, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol global standards (i.e. the emissions Burberry generates indirectly across its entire business model, from working with suppliers to consumers using its products).  They also devised a decision roadmap to outline the key decisions required, and their related time horizons, as they developed their carbon reporting capability, including the right time to procure a carbon management tool. 

Working together with the people at Burberry, we successfully transitioned our leadership role to an incoming director, with no impact to work progress. With all the correct resources in place, we left the Burberry team confident and fully empowered to deliver against the new plan.  

We were delighted to partner with Burberry to mobilise this multi-year IT approach, bridging the gap between their ambition and the tangible steps they’d need to take. We’re proud to have played a trusted role towards achieving such vital and strategic sustainability commitments.”

Tom Keohane, Partner