Back in 2018, Gucci announced their plans to go carbon neutral with the launch of the Gucci Equilibrium platform; a dedicated site updating visitors on the steps the Italian luxury brand is taking to be kinder to both people and planet. Since then, they've held carbon neutral fashion shows (the first being S/S 20), left the fast-paced official fashion schedule to carve their own path, launched a fully sustainable collection Off The Grid and partnered with the RealReal on a pre-loved Gucci digital shop. Between 2018 and 2019, they reduced their total GHG emissions by 18%. For the past few years, the Kering-owned label have embarked on a commitment to responsible business practices, and it's all part of their ten year plan. Today, they unveiled their latest endeavour, to support regenerative agriculture with the Natural Climate Solutions Portfolio, which will work to restore forests and agriculture within the Gucci supply chain.
The Natural Climate Solutions Portfolio addresses three major areas; conserve critical forests, restore and protect mangroves and improve land management through regenerative agriculture. Their partnership with REDD+ (the United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), allows Gucci to fund projects in areas such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, reducing the social impact of deforestation on local communities. Their work with REDD+ has also seen Gucci invest in projects to protect nearly 5,000 hectares of mangroves and over 285,000 hectares of forest from deforestation. Mangroves store up to ten times more carbon than mature terrestrial forests, however, 30-50% of the world’s mangroves are already lost and they continue to disappear at a rate of 2% each year. When these ecosystems are damaged or destroyed, an enormous amount of carbon dioxide is emitted back into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change.
Gucci has also invested in giving farmers incentive to move from chemical intensive methods to agricultural systems to produce the raw materials, such as wool and leather for fashion, working with Conservation International, South Pole and Native on projects to fund these global projects.
It's encouraging to see a mega-brand like Gucci looking to improve its impact on biodiversity, together with reducing emissions. Together, Alessandro Michele and CEO Marco Bizzarri set a promising precedent for luxury brands to look towards a more total carbon neutral benchmark.