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Nov 042009

Gucci Group said it plans to implement an industry-leading paper policy.

From Green Right Now Reports

Luxury brand Gucci Group said today it is joining forces with Rainforest Action Network and will eliminate all paper made from Indonesian rainforests and plantations and by controversial suppliers such as  Asia Pulp and Paper. The company said this is a first step in its plan to implement an industry-leading paper policy.

Rainforest Action Network officials said they are pleased to sign up the famous luxury house in its ongoing effort to protect Indonesian and other endangered forests. Since the beginning of Fall 2009, RAN has been urging the fashion world to more closely examine their paper supply chains and to sever any connection with paper suppliers like Asia Pulp and Paper who are actively destroying Indonesia’s rainforests.

“The Gucci Group’s actions and commitments confirm its place as an industry leader,” Lafcadio Cortesi, RAN’s Forest Campaign Director, said in a statement. “This move sets a bar for others in fashion and retail and demonstrates the foresight our society needs for our children and grandchildren to have standing rainforests and a stable climate.”

The Gucci Group’s move commits some of fashion’s most famous brands, including Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga to perhaps the luxury industry’s strongest paper policy. With its new policy, the Gucci Group has pledged to reduce the amount of paper it uses, eliminate fiber from high conservation value forests, and only to purchase recycled products or those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council by December 2010. With this policy, they are ensuring that all paper categories used by the group, from copy paper to shopping bags, do not come from endangered forests such as those in Indonesia.

Gucci Group’s new policy puts them at the front of a growing list of major companies, including Tiffany & Co., H&M Group, Staples and Unisource who acting to clean their supply chains of rainforest paper and severing relationships with companies who continue to destroy rainforests in Indonesia or elsewhere.

“Standing rainforests are not a luxury, they’re a necessity if the world wants to stop climate change,” Mimma Viglezio, Executive VP Global Communications at the Group, said in a statement. “Our actions are lowering our own carbon footprint, but we hope that they will also raise awareness inside the fashion industry that it’s possible for our industry to make a difference for rainforests and for the climate.”

Worldwide, the degradation and destruction of tropical rainforests is responsible for 20 percent of all annual greenhouse emissions. The carbon emissions resulting from Indonesia’s rapid deforestation account for around eight percent of global emissions — more than the combined emissions from all the cars, planes, trucks, buses and trains in United States. This huge carbon footprint from forest destruction has made non-industrialized Indonesia the third-largest global greenhouse gas emitter, behind only the U.S. and China.