Looks from the Gucci Aria show, with 13 new looks added to the 100th-anniversary collection.

MILAN — Gucci continues to support sustainable initiatives.

The Italian fashion group has inked an agreement with Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo that will allow small and medium-sized companies in Gucci’s supply chain to benefit from financing lines and facilitated access to loans at better terms and conditions to launch their own sustainability, environmental and social development initiatives. This is in line with the priorities set by the Italian government’s National Plan for Recovery and Resilience.

The agreement, the first of its kind in Italy, represents the new chapter of the “Sviluppo Filiere,” or development of the pipeline in English, a program launched in May 2020 to support Gucci’s supply chain during the COVID-19 emergency. Companies that show excellence within the brand’s supply chain will be able to access dedicated financing lines introduced by Intesa Sanpaolo with the S-Loan formula and inspired by environmental, social and corporate governance indicators, or ESG.

“We are proud to inaugurate 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 revolution,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Gucci. “This is an important step because only together — public and private sectors, large companies and SMEs [small and medium-size enterprises] — can we reach the critical goals for society and for Italy advocated by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. This is a groundbreaking project: everything we have always hoped to achieve, as businesses, to promote the objective of a fairer society, is now within reach. Social and environmental sustainability is a duty: carbon neutrality and equal opportunities are part of a single infrastructure, according to a system-country logic.”

The objectives of the agreement include energy efficiency and savings; the introduction of green mobility and logistics projects; the development of facilities producing energy from renewable sources; the adaptation of business models to facilitate the development of a circular economy; the activation of initiatives to increase the female employment rate in the company and support their professional growth through the creation of training programs to acquire new skills; the definition and implementation of welfare policies and instruments aimed at ensuring equality and reducing the gender gap, and the adoption of a transparent system for certifying gender equality and activation of initiatives to develop and raise awareness on the topic.

Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, said in a statement that the agreement signed today with Gucci represents a new kind of relationship between bank, lead company and its chain of suppliers — a relationship based on sustainability — that we are the first to launch at this turning point for our country, marked by the allocation of the Next Generation EU program funds.” Underscoring the bank’s focus on the development of models based on circularity, Messina emphasized the “new approach based on Italy’s supply chains — the strength of our industry — which have long been at the center of the support we provide to companies. We are doing this with Gucci, with which we have successfully partnered in the past, fully confident that we can overcome new challenges together. Our group believes that economic development has a healthy outlook when it focuses on environmental impact, social inclusion and the enhancement of human capital.”

In 2019, Gucci also supported a study titled “Supporting the Role of Women in the Luxury Supply Chain in Italy” promoted by parent company Kering to understand the status of women working in the Italian luxury supply chain and to identify opportunities and define actions to support gender equality.

In the last 12 months, more than 150 suppliers in Gucci’s supply chain in Italy have benefited from the more than 230 million euros in loans provided by Intesa Sanpaolo, helping local growth, internationalization and the renovation of the companies’ production structures. These are Italian companies and artisanal workshops operating in leather goods, footwear, accessories, clothing, and jewelry, employing more than 20,000 people. Overall, Intesa Sanpaolo’s “Sviluppo Filiere” program, launched at the end of 2015, has deployed more than 6 billion euros in investments for the more than 20,000 suppliers, members of more than 800 established supply chains.

In March 2020, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy, Gucci and Intesa Sanpaolo teamed to launch the “We Are All in This Together” program to raise funds destined to the country’s Civil Protection.

Gucci has been carbon neutral since 2018 and in June, the company published its inaugural Gucci Equilibrium Impact Report. Incorporating 2020 data, its new Environmental Profit and Loss results revealed that the house surpassed its 2025 reduction target four years ahead of time, with a 44 percent reduction of total environmental impacts and a 47 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions on a 2015 baseline.

Last month, as reported, after two years of in-house research and development, Gucci unveiled an innovative and groundbreaking animal-free luxurious material called Demetra.

Demetra contains upward of 77 percent plant-based raw materials and is made of viscose and wood pulp compound from sustainably managed forest sources as well as bio-based polyurethane from renewable sources.