Kering’s pursuit of sustainability goes far beyond traditional compliance and is viewed as a business opportunity. Sustainability is paramount to the overall business strategy of the Group and developing new solutions and innovations to address the challenges its sector faces is a priority. As such, one of Kering’s main focus areas is on the sourcing and processing of the raw materials used in its brands products.
Kering’s brand Gucci has developed a methodology to reduce the environmental impact of the tanning process. As a first for the Luxury industry, Gucci launched “metal free” leather by innovating a new process that uses an organic tanning agent whereby the tanned leather and wastewater from the tanneries are free of heavy metal at the end of the process. Gucci’s new method goes beyond more conventional chrome-free tanning to removing all heavy metals, while simultaneously achieving the highest level of quality synonymous with Gucci’s “know how”. The leather resulting from this new process is consistent with Gucci’s long-standing quality standards in terms of softness, durability and natural aspect. Furthermore, it is already certified in compliance with the International ISO 14001 Environmental Certification Standard.
Gucci’s metal free tanning innovation aligns perfectly with Kering’s sustainability strategy. It will contribute to the attainment of Kering’s sustainability targets for the Group, especially considering that the elimination of heavy metals in the tanning process is part of Kering’s commitment to reduce and phase out hazardous chemicals by 2020. This new process will also help reduce the overall environmental footprint -- as measured by the Environment Profit & Loss analysis -- through a range of environmental benefits such as: improvement in the quality of the effluents produced by the tanning process, significant reduction in water usage (about 30%) during the production of metal-free leather and energy saving (of about 20%) due to the shorter length of time this process requires compared to conventional tanning methods.