Gucci has confirmed its participation in Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that is set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22. World leaders and representatives from NGOs and private sectors, among others, will gather together to shape ideas on how to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.

Rossella Ravagli, Gucci’s CSR & Sustainability Manager, will join in on the workshop “Changing the World Through Fashion.” The session will focus on exploring the fashion and apparel sector’s contribution to sustainable development and is promoted by the Nordic Fashion. Gucci’s contribution will outline the brand’s CSR, sustainability strategy and ongoing commitment to promoting “Sustainable Value” as a key part of its DNA and corporate mission. This highlights key issues for Gucci such as respect for human rights and employees, the promotion of diversity and professional skills, the environment and biodiversity, respect for stakeholders and the involvement of suppliers.
prototype from liquid wood material
prototype from liquid wood material

This ambitious project started in 2004 and with each passing year marks a new stage. In 2004 Gucci distinguished itself among one of the first businesses in its sector to voluntarily commence the process of certification in Corporate Social Responsibility (SA 8000) across headquarters and stores, including its whole production chain. In 2009 it further committed itself to promoting and developing its production chain as a unique knowledge base of recognized value rooted in economic and social sustainability. In 2010 it signed the Greenpeace moratorium “Halting Deforestation for Cattle Ranching in the Amazon Biome.” The brand also eliminated the technique of sandblasting, achieved ISO 14001 certification and launched a worldwide eco-friendly program designed to progressively reduce the company's impact on the environment by launching new packaging that uses exclusively FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified 100% recyclable paper.

In 2011 the luxury house signed an agreement with the Florence Trade Unions to improve welfare conditions within the company and instituted a new form of aggregation among its suppliers called "reti d'impresa." This year the company introduced recyclable packaging (100% FSC certified paper) for Gucci brand eyewear, which had positive effects on transportation costs and CO2 emissions. Other eco-friendly products currently being introduced by the company include women’s biodegradable sandals made of bio-plastic, a line of environmentally sustainable eyeglasses made out of an innovative acetate material containing natural elements and last but not least the first-ever sunglasses made from Liquid Wood, a new biodegradable material never before used in the eyewear sector.

Ravagli explained, “Values that have always been part of Gucci's DNA include the commitment to maintain the promise of Made in Italy as well as the absolute quality of raw materials and finished products. We combine this with a responsible attitude towards people, communities and the environment. Gucci intends to consolidate its efforts by striving to disseminate its practices by integrating them with active participation in economic, cultural, social and environmental development. Future challenges are directed towards reinforcing our commitment to traceability and further developing research in innovative materials.”