Sustainability Guidelines and Principles
Gucci prioritizes the well-being of its employees and partners, and is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all those involved in making its products through the responsible and innovative management of its supply chain.
Our Italian based manufacturing supply chain includes both internal facilities that are owned and managed directly by Gucci, as well as external facilities managed by a trusted network of suppliers.
Gucci’s internal production platform relies on agile organisation and fast decision-making processes, a focus on technical know-how, pervasive vertical integration and a reduction of lead times. In addition, we carry out all activities relating to R&D, product development and prototyping in-house.
For certain phases of production, we call upon the services of a select network of trusted suppliers. The skills and knowledge of these artisans is essential to the maintenance of Gucci’s brand; ensuring the consistent delivery of creative and innovative products. Many of these suppliers are second or third generation family-run companies, passing on unique artisanal expertise and know-how.
In order to meet the demand for Gucci’s items, which has nearly doubled in the last three years, significant investment has been committed to the supply chain, with a focus on preserving manufacturing expertise and innovation, vertical integration and lead time reduction.
We have purchased several small and medium sized suppliers who might have otherwise been lost. Our aim is to work with suppliers for generations, not seasons. Thus, all of our suppliers and sub-contractors are required to comply with our Gucci Sustainability Principles:
a set of guidelines that includes oversight of sustainable sourcing, legal compliance, collective agreements, supplementary agreements, international conventions and declarations in relation to human rights, workers’ rights, preservation of the environment and respect for animal welfare. We have to work hard to find suppliers who can meet the high standards of craftsmanship that we require.
In 2017, we established the Suppliers Portal; an online platform providing the opportunity for Italian based artisans working with shoes and leather goods to collaborate with Gucci. The application consists of a self-nomination process, which is reviewed by Gucci team members. The site received over 180 submissions in just a few months of opening.
Potential suppliers need to undergo stringent quality tests, including the adherence to a product technical specification sheet provided by the company and the evaluation by Gucci’s Quality Control Manager. Since the beginning of 2017, almost 350 new potential suppliers requested to work with Gucci.
Only 10 of them passed the selection: the majority of suppliers were not able to meet the financial, legal and compliance parameters, in addition to showing a limited organizational capacity.
Beyond demonstrating exceptional skills in craftsmanship, our suppliers and subcontractors (including materials suppliers) must align their operations with Gucci’s Sustainability Principles, covering social aspects (related to human rights, labour rights and health & safety), environmental aspects (related to compliance with legislation, environmental management and hazardous chemical management) and the supply of raw materials and packaging (related to animal welfare and sourcing / traceability requirements).
Adhering to Gucci’s overarching Sustainability Principles is enshrined within the contract we have with our suppliers.
All our manufacturing operations (including those at external sites) are monitored by Gucci pursuant to the SA8000 certification management System, which ensures that business ethics, respect for people, workplace health and safety, workers’ rights and equal opportunity are upheld, in line with the ILO (International Labor Organization) principles.
To ensure continued compliance with these principles, our suppliers and subcontractors (including raw material suppliers) are subject to regular audits by specialist Kering and third-party teams. Robust corrective action plans are put together following audits, wherever breaches of compliance are identified. Follow-up audits are then conducted to ensure any non-conformance has been rectified.
In 2017 alone, 59% of all Gucci suppliers were subject to at least one full audit or a follow-up audit. In total, 1604 audits were carried out across our supply chain. We ended our relationship with 75 suppliers who did not meet our required standards after being issued with and supported through corrective actions.
We have 22 audit pending processes and should the corrective plan we addressed to the suppliers be not successfully met, Gucci will terminate the relationship with such suppliers.
To support suppliers in meeting Gucci’s Sustainability Principles, every year we hold training seminars for each category product in order to share best-practice information relating to our sustainability strategy and key sustainability impacts in our supply chain.
Training sessions focus on different parts of production. In 2017, we engaged with our suppliers from our ready-to-wear supply chain and our leather goods supply chain, and with suppliers from the Shoe Business Unit and metal components.