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Gucci boss challenges CEOs to roll out supply chain offset schemes

Luxury fashion chief says businesses should pump more cash into conservation efforts

Marco Bizzarri, the president and chief executive of luxury clothing firm Gucci, has challenged CEOs of other major corporates to crack down on supply chain emissions. 

While many individual companies and industry coalitions have made “commendable commitments” to align carbon reduction emissions with the Paris Agreement, businesses now needed to deliver “rapid and concrete positive impacts,” Bizzari said yesterday.

The comments came in support of the newly launched CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge, a campaign for companies to commit to a ‘360 degrees climate strategy’ that involves curbing internal and supply chain emissions as well as deploying nature-based offset solutions to deliver net zero emissions. 

The campaign comes after Gucci last month declared itself carbon neutral using a similar strategy.  

“The recent events during Climate Week in New York and at the UN Climate Action Summit clearly showed that there is a demand for companies to urgently act, and not to solely focus our climate objectives on the years to come,” Bizzari said. 

“At the core of this was a call to adopt nature-based solutions, and the acknowledgement that they represent 30 per cent of the climate solution,” he wrote in an open letter to CEOs

The majority of greenhouse gas emissions linked to day-to-day business activities were created in the supply chain, he noted. “I firmly believe that we must all be accountable for these emissions and redefine corporate carbon neutrality to encompass the entire supply chain,” he said.

Businesses should set a clear strategy for accounting for all emissions within their own operations and across the supply chain, prioritise actions to avoid and reduce all emissions, and then offset all the remainder, he said.

Bizzarri argued there was a clear commercial case for adopting such strategies given the world is now entering a “new decade of corporate accountability”.

“We don’t have the leisure to just work to avoid and reduce our impacts on climate and biodiversity over the long-term,” he said. “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. This could take years that we don’t actually have.”

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