Regardless of industry and position, sustainability is probably on your agenda. The combination of tighter regulations and a more savvy consumer base has put pressure on brands to take a much more active approach to sustainability. Whilst numerous brands are running projects in this space, many are doing just enough to keep up appearances.
But then there are brands like Gucci; a brand that takes corporate social responsibility and sustainability much more seriously, having truly recognised the relevance that a formulated strategy can offer. Gucci is the only luxury fashion brand that has a formal sustainability strategy embedded into the very DNA of the company and its business vision. It recognised that whilst the bulk of its sales came from the allure of the brand appeal, creativity and service there was a proportion of its consumer base that was looking for additional company value.
Sustainability is key to satisfying this goal and is seen by the company as a fundamental part of a complete brand story. Responsibility is first and foremost a matter of respect. Gucci has recognised that a truly successful sustainability strategy requires a 3-pillar approach:
• Respect towards people - to improve the conditions of the less fortunate. Gucci has committed over the years to a number of philanthropic initiatives. Just to mention the two most visible: the almost 10-year partnership with UNICEF, raising almost 18 million USD on projects mostly focussing on children health and education in Africa and Asia; and the Chime For Change global campaign, founded by Gucci itself, focusing on education, health and justice, with special attention to girls and women (more than 310 projects funded in 81 countries through 101 non-profit partners) • Respect towards the environment – Gucci is closely monitoring the environmental impacts of their activity and will be the first luxury brand to have an environmental P&L by 2016;
• Respect towards culture - supporting many initiatives to support culture, including the opening of a Museum in Florence and with its proceed supporting the restoration of some beautiful pieces of art in Florence, our city; or restoring great masterpieces of the past in cinema and music, so that they can be enjoyed by future generations; Developing a coherent and lasting strategy and then implementing this is about fine-tuning and how to push this in a consistent manner.
Micaela le Divelec Lemmi, EVP & Chief Corporate Operations Officer at Gucci, joins PI to talk us through the why's, what’s and how’s of their sustainability strategy and how they are using it to better define the best way to transfer value to the customer.
EVP and Chief Corporate Operations Officer, GUCCI
Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi is Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Operations Officer of Gucci, the Italian luxury brand owned by the Kering Group. In her role, that she has held since September 2010, she is responsible for supervising the following strategic Company areas at a worldwide level: Finance, Human Resources, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Information Systems, Corporate Security, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Corporate Compliance. Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi joined Gucci Group in 1998, holding roles of increasing responsibility within the Finance Department; then she became Group Controller for Gucci Group in 2004 and Chief Financial Officer of Gucci in 2008 and then gradually increased her level of responsibility in the other support functions.