Prada’s state-of-the-art industrial complex in tuscany’s Valvigna are part of Prada’s “garden factories” and are nestled in a lush landscape of pomegranate, fig and jujube trees and vineyards.

MILAN — Prada SpA has signed with Crédit Agricole Group the first sustainability-linked loan in the luxury goods industry.

Prada will be granted 50 million euros over five years through a Sustainability Term Loan, introducing a rewarding annual pricing adjustment based on the achievement of sustainability targets.

The interest rate can be reduced following the achievement of targets related to: the number of stores assigned with a LEED Gold or Platinum Certification; the amount of training hours for the employees, and the use of Prada Re-Nylon (regenerated nylon) for the production of goods.

“This transaction demonstrates that sustainability is a key element for the development of the Prada Group, increasingly integrated into our strategy,” said Prada’s chief financial officer Alessandra Cozzani. “We are confident that this collaboration with Crédit Agricole, a leader in its sector, will help to extend the benefits of a responsible business to the financial world.”

Alberto Bezzi, senior banker at Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, said “the luxury sector is being increasingly committed in developing a sustainable business. I am very proud of this collaboration, which confirms Prada’s ongoing efforts for engaging in and cultivating virtuous behaviors that contribute to its sustainable growth.”

Prada this week will host the “Shaping a Sustainable Future Society” conference in New York on Nov. 8 at the group’s headquarters in Manhattan, which are known as The Piano Factory. This will be the third edition of the Italian company’s cultural conversations under the “Shaping a Future” moniker, and it will explore topics such as freedom, equality and justice within the workplace, in addition to the impact of ethical assessments in people’s choices and behavior.

Earlier this year, the fashion house revealed that artist and activist Theaster Gates and award-winning writer, director and producer Ava DuVernay were to co-chair the Prada Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. Prada’s Diversity and Inclusion Council complements the work of the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility department, which has been focused on sustainability, scientific research and culture.

Prada joined the Fashion Pact earlier this year, with the objective to stop global warming, restore biodiversity and protect the oceans, and it vowed to go fur-free starting with the spring/summer 2020 women’s collections.

Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli, who share the chief executive officer title, have been vocal about research into more ecological materials and investing in sustainable industrial complexes surrounded by greenery and vineyards, and the group has been working on achieving an ever greater degree of efficiency in the use of energy and waste reduction. Several projects have affected industrial sites, corporate headquarters and retail spaces, from the exclusive use of energy supplies from sustainable sources to the awareness of employees on a rational and correct use of energy, from the conversion to LED lighting to the installation of photovoltaic systems.

The group also prefers the purchase and restoration of existing plants to the building of new ones. For example, in 2015 it decided to invest in the purchase of an abandoned, large industrial plant in Scandicci, outside Florence, which used to produce Christmas decorations, to upgrade it and set its full-cycle leather goods production, consolidating its presence in this leather goods manufacturing district. Last year, Prada unveiled an industrial complex in Tuscany’s Valvigna a stunning steel and glass structure designed by Guido Canali and surrounded by gardens and vineyards. Bertelli said at the time that the group spent 2 million euros on the greenery alone. Prada purchased the land and the abandoned plant, which made concrete roof tiles on the site in 1998, buying the bordering properties over the years. There is a system of lightweight trellises covered in grapevines and mulberries, pomegranates, and jujubes, with beds of lavender, 33 trees, 29,000 bushes and 8,700 climbing plants. The complex includes four buildings and the total area covers more than 1 million square feet.

The Prada Group has also obtained numerous Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certifications and aims to achieve more in the future.

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