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Gucci Becomes First ‘Entirely’ Carbon-Neutral Luxury House

Gucci is now entirely carbon neutral.

The Kering-owned luxury house announced Thursday that it’s offsetting all remaining greenhouse-gas emissions by investing in four “critically important” REDD+ projects in Cambodia, Indonesia, Kenya and Peru. REDD+, which stands for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” is a United Nations-backed program that protects forests from being logged.

Gucci, in a statement, hailed its move as an “unprecedented” commitment to sustainable leadership in the fashion industry, which accounts for 8.1 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, or as much as the total climate impact of the entire European Union, according to environmental consultancy Quantis.

The Italian powerhouse says it has been “operationally embedding” sustainability into its business over the past several years but decided to take the leap into complete carbon neutrality because of the urgent need for more ambitious climate action. In doing so, Gucci said, the company is “establishing a new pathway” that underscores the necessity for businesses to hold themselves accountable for all their emissions across their supply chains.

“A new era of corporate accountability is upon us and we need to be diligent in taking all steps to mitigate our impacts, including being transparent and responsible for our greenhouse-gas emissions across our supply chains,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci. “Gucci will continue to work in a smart and strategic way to avoid and reduce our impacts, while simultaneously investing in innovation as a driver for sustainability. However, in my view, this is just not enough nor will it happen fast enough given the sustainability challenges we are up against in our industry and the reality of our global climate and biodiversity crises. To address the need for urgent solutions, Gucci is setting an ambitious new precedent through our carbon-neutral commitment.”

The luxury firm has implemented what it calls a “hierarchy of actions” to avoid, reduce, restore and then finally offset any unavoidable greenhouse-gas emissions through REDD+ projects.

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One of the first luxury brands to monitor its environmental impacts through its annual Environmental Profit & Loss account, Gucci pledged in 2015 to halve its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025. Gucci has pared back its emissions by 16 percent to date, and they currently account for 35 percent of the company’s overall environmental footprint.

“As businesses, we all need to be accountable and implement solutions that will proactively combat our dual challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss,” Bizzarri said, pointing to Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault’s G7 Fashion Pact as an inspiration and “perfect catalyst” for driving innovation.

“I believe our new carbon-neutral approach that accounts for all greenhouse-gas emissions across the supply chain is a pioneering way to deliver rapid and concrete positive impacts for our natural world and our climate,” he added. “We are redefining ‘carbon neutral’ through a logical strategy that avoids, reduces, restores and offsets. and I hope other CEOs across all sectors will view this as a call to action. 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.”