Yesterday, Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri announced the creation of the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge, a call-to-action for executives across the fashion industry to join Gucci in its efforts to reduce overall Greenhouse Gas emissions, including an outline of six guiding principles that companies will have to abide by in order to participate.
Because of the growing number of climate change-related disasters making headlines right now (wildfires in California, Brazil, Indonesia and more; a heatwave in Europe; flooding in Venice), more and more consumers are calling for more sustainable and responsible practices in fashion. Suffice to say, Bizzarri couldn’t have chosen a better time to make a major statement.
Kering generated buzz earlier this year when they announced that every company under their masthead (which includes Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga) would go completely carbon neutral. To accomplish this, Kering would either have to completely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions or balance emissions with carbon removal to zero out impact. But in true Gucci fashion, Kering's premiere brand wasn't about to just do the bare minimum — not even close.
Gucci’s new sustainability pact states that companies must account for their Greenhouse Gas emissions; have a measurement in place for tracking their GHG emissions; have a specific plan for reducing such emissions; implement solutions that will help to offset the inevitable emissions that their company is responsible for; commit to reporting their impact on an annual basis; and promise to work with stakeholders and fellow CEOs to promote conservation efforts.
It's barely been 24 hours since Bizzarri's big announcement, but already Gucci has its first follower: The RealReal. Earlier this year, the luxury consignment site committed to a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, according to a press release from the company. But by agreeing to join the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge, The RealReal's timeline toward carbon neutrality will be significantly sped up (with their deadline for full carbon neutrality now coming in 2021) and intensified.
Of course, it wasn’t mere coincidence that The RealReal followed Gucci’s lead so quickly. "Sustainability is a shared core value between The RealReal and Gucci,” TRR’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Allison Sommer tells Refinery29. “We've had an ongoing dialogue with Gucci and Kering's sustainability team for quite some time. Gucci put a big stake in the ground by going carbon neutral earlier this year, and Marco's challenge to other businesses to step up to the plate was all the call to action that we needed to follow suit.”
With any luck, by becoming the first to join the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge, TRR will become the catalyst for other companies to similarly rise to the occasion.