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Gucci partners with Italian bank to invest in sustainable supply chains

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-07-08 06:50:43 – Italy

Italian fashion group, Gucci has inked an agreement with Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo that will focus on the shift of the supply chain toward more sustainable and inclusive practices.

The agreement will allow small and medium-sized businesses in Gucci's supply chain to benefit from financing lines and easier access to loans with better terms and conditions to launch their own sustainability, environmental, and social development initiatives. This is in line with the guidelines of the Italian government's National Plan for Recovery and Resilience's goals.

The deal, which is the first of its type in Italy, marks the start of a new chapter in Gucci's "Sviluppo Filiere," or "pipeline development," a program that began in May 2020 to help Gucci's supply chain during the COVID-19 situation. Companies who succeed in the brand's supply chain will be eligible for specific financing lines created by Intesa Sanpaolo with the S-Loan formula and based on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors.

Gucci's president and chief executive officer, Marco Bizzarri, said that they’re pleased to establish the first supply chain agreement for the fashion sector today with Intesa Sanpaolo in an initiative that will allow the Gucci ecosystem to take yet another step in the industry's sustainable transformation. This is a crucial step because they can only achieve the key goals for society and Italy proposed by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan if they work together — public and private sectors, major firms, and SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises].

Bizzarri added that this is a game-changing project: everything they've aspired to achieve as entrepreneurs in terms of promoting the goal of a more equitable society is now within reach. According to a system-country logic, social and environmental sustainability is a duty: carbon neutrality and equitable opportunities are part of a single infrastructure.

The objectives of the agreement include energy efficiency and savings; the introduction of green transportation and logistics initiatives; the creation of facilities that produce energy from renewable sources; the adaption of business models to aid the development of a circular economy; the activation of initiatives to boost female employment rate in the firm and to assist their professional progress through the introduction of new skill-acquisition training programs; the development and implementation of welfare policies and instruments aimed at guaranteeing gender equality and closing the gender gap, as well as the adoption of a transparent system for certifying gender equality and the activation of initiatives to build and increase awareness on the subject.

Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, said that the agreement signed with Gucci represents a new kind of relationship between the bank, lead company, and its chain of suppliers — a relationship based on sustainability — that they are the first to launch at this turning point for their country, marked by the allocation of the Next Generation EU program funds.

Messina underlined the “new strategy based on Italy's supply chains — the backbone of the industry — which has long been at the core of the support they offer to companies, underscoring the bank's focus on the creation of circularity-based models.

Messina added that they're doing it with Gucci, with whom they've previously had great success, and they're optimistic that they'll be able to conquer new obstacles together. Their organization thinks that economic progress is healthy when it prioritizes environmental impact, social inclusiveness, and human capital development.

Intesa Sanpaolo has granted more than 230 million euros in loans to more than 150 suppliers in Gucci's supply chain in Italy in the previous year, assisting local growth, internationalization, and the refurbishment of the firms' production infrastructure. More than 20,000 people are employed by these Italian enterprises and artisanal workshops that specialize in leather products, footwear, accessories, apparel, and jewelry.

Overall, Intesa Sanpaolo's "Sviluppo Filiere" initiative, which began in late 2015, has invested more than 6 billion euros in over 20,000 suppliers that are part of over 800 established supply chains.

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