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Gucci boss challenges CEOs to go carbon neutral

By Marjorie van Elven

Nov 20, 2019

After going carbon neutral in September, Gucci is daring other companies to do the same. CEO Marco Bizzarri published an open letter to CEOs yesterday, asking them to take urgent steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, instead of solely focusing on goals for over the next decades.

“Given the scientific evidence from the recent IPBES and IPCC reports, we don’t have the leisure to just work to avoid and reduce our impact on climate and biodiversity over the long-term. Nor can we wait for technology and climate smart solutions to catch up, and to scale up, to meet the sustainability challenges we all face,” Bizzarri wrote. “Today we need to be responsible and accountable for the full scope of our greenhouse gas emissions and deliver nature-based climate solutions that mitigate these and drive positive change.”

“This can be achieved through a logical and clear strategy to ensure that a company accounts for all the greenhouse gas emissions within its own operations and across the supply chain, prioritizes actions to first avoid, reduce and restore, and then offsets all the remaining emissions as a final measure,” he explained.

Bizarri finished the letter by inviting fellow CEOs to join Gucci’s Carbon Neutral Challenge, whose guiding principles are available for download at equilibrium.gucci.com.

Gucci’s challenge was launched on the same day European low-cost airline EasyJet also announced it is going carbon neutral by offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions for its 331 planes, becoming the world’s first major airline to operate net zero carbon flights across its entire network.

The RealReal is the first fashion company to react to Gucci’s Carbon Neutral Challenge

Luxury resale platform The RealReal was the first fashion company to respond to Bizzarri’s letter. Today, the company announced its intention to go fully carbon neutral in 2021.

“Marco Bizzarri’s challenge to execute more radical and immediate change inspired us to respond with greater urgency and turn up the dial on the commitment we made with the UN’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action,” said Julie Wainwright, CEO of The RealReal. When joining the UN Charter earlier this year, The RealReal committed to a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

“Between the conversations we had at this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit to the important work of activists like Greta Thunberg, it’s clear that we must do more and do it faster,” noted Wainwright. To achieve its updated goals, The RealReal has hired sustainability consultancy Shift Advantage to measure its emissions and establish a path to implementing reductions.

Pictures: courtesy of Gucci