SAI Corporate Member Spotlight: Gucci

Gucci enhances its SA8000® path through CSR initiatives, and achieves Responsible Jewellery Council certification
Feb 3, 2012 11:30 AM ET

When, in 2004, the Florentine company defined a path of social responsibility, it included the entire production process, so that every link of the supply chain would adhere to strict environmental and social standards. This ambitious goal started to become a reality in a few years.  In 2006, Gucci's suppliers in Italy participated in an EC-funded training on SA8000® in leather tanneries. This project was in collaboration with ETUF and the ITGLWF. 

Since  that time, the company has conducted 2,000 annual inspections of working conditions and about 400 supplier audits aimed at verifying compliance with sustainability principles. Regarding implementation of policies on personnel management, the company earned SA8000® certification in September 2011 for all of its Italian stores. This certification was awarded by Bureau Veritas.

In addition, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has just announced that the 90-year old luxury brand has earned certification by meeting the highest ethical, social and environmental standards established by the RJC's Member Certification System.  

"Gucci is delighted to have achieved the RJC Member Certification two years after joining the Council as effective members," said Patrizio di Marco, Gucci President and CEO. "The certification gives me great pleasure since it represents a further step towards an always more authentic and genuine sense of responsibility that informs our company and the people who work with and for the Gucci brand. The certification not only reinforces the integrity of our processes, supply chains and final products also in this sector, but it also has a special meaning to me because it is related to a category that represents a relatively small part of our business. The total commitment and transparency that we have granted during the whole certification process is a testament to Gucci's desire to exceed not only in our core businesses, but in all the activities and initiatives that we put in place."

Attention to human rights is also a key priority that led the Florentine company in February 2011, to support the Clean Clothes Campaign's mission to end all sandblasting production processes. With the aim of promoting the health and safety of workers, Gucci, along with trade unions and research institutes, has launched an on-going discussion about the development of alternative techniques.

Furthermore, with the aim of enhancing the skills and well-being of all employees, Gucci in July 2011 signed a trade union agreement which redesigns and enhances welfare policies. During the same year, the company has intensified its educational activities on social responsibility aimed at all managers and employees in order to spread the culture of sustainability and to create new channels of dialogue between all staff.

From an environmental standpoint, in June 2010 Gucci launched a worldwide eco-friendly program designed to progressively reduce the company's impact on the environment. The centerpiece of this initiative is use of newly designed packaging to reduce materials. Also, Gucci uses FSC Certified paper, which is 100% recyclable.

On a global level, the Gucci's partnership with UNICEF entered its 7th year with a continuing focus on education through a contribution of a further, US$1.15 million to UNICEF's Schools for Africa initiative. This brings the total funds donated to over $10 million since 2005.