Two weeks ago Gucci’s CEO, Marco Bizzarri, launched the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge: an initiative that calls on leaders across the fashion industry to commit to a carbon neutral future. When a company joins the initiative it must complete a full audit of its greenhouse gas emissions within one year, and commit to six principles that will lead to the reduction of its carbon footprint.
I’m inviting CEOs across all sectors to come together in the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge. I believe that collective action is imperative if we are to help create a future in which society can thrive and business can succeed, while nature is restored and protected. I sincerely hope you will join us.Marco Bizzarri
Gucci President & CEO
Member companies will be listed on the Gucci website, and will hold themselves accountable for hitting their targets. Earlier this year Kering, the French luxury goods group of which Gucci is a part, announced that all its brands – which also include Saint Laurent and Balenciaga – would begin work towards carbon neutrality.
Kering owns brands that are still, for many, a status play in their own right. But given the fashion industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and ships combined, they should be concerned that the social shame attached to their products may soon outweight the status.
So, what does it mean to be carbon neutral?
Carbon neutral, also called carbon neutrality is a term used to describe the action of organizations, businesses and individuals taking action to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as each put in to it. The overall goal of carbon neutrality is to achieve a zero carbon footprint.
What’s the plan?
To participate in the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge companies need to adhere to the following six guiding principles:
- Companies must account for their entire Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with their business activities.
- Have an internationally recognized objective measurement of their GHG emissions that encompasses the entire supply chain.
- Have a publicly declared timeline and plan of action.
- Implement certified nature-based solutions that deliver direct benefits to biodiversity and provide fair and equitable benefits to local communities.
- Provide an annual report on the impact and outcomes of offsetting projects, and their progress towards the reduction of their GHG emissions.
- Commit to collaborate with stakeholders to raise awareness for solutions that can amplify efforts to conserve and restore nature, while mitigating climate change.
Is it enough? Not even close. The company didn’t mention anything in the plan about no longer using animal products in their clothing, making their supply chain more ethical, you know – fair pay and labor practices for garment workers or being more sustainable across the board but I guess it’s a step in the right direction. With all the pressure being placed on the fashion industry to clean up their act we can only hope this will lead to a more substantial changes across the board.