Recognising that climate change must be tackled urgently, Italian luxury fashion and leather goods brand Gucci has taken a long stride towards going carbon neutral, in a move that affects the company’s entire supply and production chain.
These projects will be in tandem with the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) developed REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries) mechanism. While the priority will be to avoid and reduce, offsetting will be necessary for any unavoidable emissions.
An issue like climate change cannot be tackled by a single party, especially when it comes to manufacturing and production. A discernible change will only be seen when the entire supply chain takes the effort to make their systems more sustainable. It is the only way for Gucci to ensure all its final products, from raw material to shelf, are crafted with zero net carbon emissions. To this end, the brand has employed various initiatives that involve using sustainable materials from sustainable sources in a sustainable manufacturing process.
As part of the endeavour to avoid and reduce, Gucci strives to use renewable sources of energy for production, operations, in offices, warehouses and retail outlets. Currently, 70% of the power used is from renewable sources, which is targeted to touch 100% by the year 2020. Innovation is very important in the efforts towards cleaner production, and issue-specific campaigns help Gucci focus on problem areas more efficiently.
The Gucci Scrap-less programme, for instance, involves processing and treating only the required amount of leather with less water and chemicals. Eight tanneries participated in this program last year with outstanding results, including a reduction of 843,000 kW of energy, 10 million litres of water, 145 tonnes of chemicals, and 66 tonnes of leather scraps. This only further reinforces the importance of involving all stakeholders in initiatives to realise a change. Further, recycling and upcycling are two essential processes in Gucci’s efforts, including using recycled plastic, gold, silver, palladium and upcycled leather and textile waste.
Restoring and offsetting entails making sure the soil and natural habitats that raw materials are sourced from are restored for the benefit of biodiversity. Moreover, Gucci supports the conservation and restoration of global biodiversity hotspots, that include almost 11,02,000 hectares of forest area.
Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri says he was inspired by François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Gucci’s parent organisation Kering. He believes that Pinault’s leadership as part of the recently announced Fashion Pact, that brought together several key stakeholders of the fashion industry, was a catalyst to Gucci’s own carbon neutral initiatives. “Collective corporate action is needed now in order to make a significant contribution to our nature and society in the coming decade and for our future generations,” Bizzarri says.