CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge

by | Oct 12, 2019 | Equator - The Belt Factory, Sustainability, Sustainability Journey

Following Climate Week NYC 2019 Marco Bizzarri issued an open letter to CEOs across all sectors to come together in the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge. The CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge underlines the call for companies to take urgent action and implement a 360° climate strategy to create positive outcomes in the immediate. A key part of this action must be based on companies taking full responsibility and accountability for the total GHG emissions generated by their business activities. There has been a focus on meeting carbon neutral and net-zero targets in the future, however, this does not solve the problem right now: the majority of GHG emissions are generated in a company’s supply chain and current avoidance and reduction efforts, and the innovation creation needed to support them, are not coming close to mitigating these emissions. Nor will they in the near or mid-term future. As a solution to address these emissions immediately, the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge proposes that companies must adopt an annual approach to first avoid, reduce and restore and then, as a final measure, offset the total remaining emissions within their operations and across the entire supply chain (Scopes 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) through nature-based solutions, which will support the protection of critical ecosystems and help mitigate climate change. Marco Bizzarri welcomes all companies to join him in the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge and a set of guiding principles required to join have been outlined.


We are entering a new decade of corporate accountability. As businesses, we all have a responsibility to meet the reality of our global climate and biodiversity crises head on and find solutions that can amplify efforts to conserve and restore nature, while mitigating climate change. The recent events during Climate Week in New York and at the UN Climate Action Summit clearly showed that there is a demand for companies to urgently act, and not to solely focus our climate objectives on the years to come. At the core of this was a call to adopt nature-based solutions and the acknowledgement that they represent 30% of the climate solution.

There have been many commendable commitments made by individual companies and through industry coalitions to align with the Paris Agreement and push even further towards a 1.5°C trajectory. However, I believe that we can take another straightforward step in the right direction and deliver rapid and concrete positive impacts right now for our natural world and for our climate.

Leading companies with net-zero ambitions and those with a net-zero 2050 pathway need to build in climate strategies with a 360° approach. One that not only focuses on reducing our GHG emissions over the next decades but also immediately translates the unavoidable emissions we are generating right now into nature-based offsets. The reality is that the majority of the GHG emissions linked to day-to-day business activities are created upstream in the supply chain. I firmly believe that we must all be accountable for these emissions and redefine corporate carbon neutrality to encompass the entire supply chain. This can be achieved through a logical and clear strategy to ensure that a company accounts for all the GHG emissions within its own operations and across the supply chain, prioritizes actions to first avoid, reduce and restore, and then offsets all the remaining emissions as a final measure. These offsets can be achieved through important nature-based solutions like REDD+. Supporting verified REDD+ offsetting projects not only contributes to reversing the curves of biodiversity loss and climate change through the protection and restoration of critically important forests around the world but also simultaneously benefits the livelihoods of local communities.

Given the scientific evidence from the recent IPBES and IPCC reports, we don’t have the leisure to just work to avoid and reduce our impacts on climate and biodiversity over the long-term. Nor can we wait for technology and climate smart solutions to catch up, and to scale up, to meet the sustainability challenges we all face. This could take years that we don’t actually have. Today we need to be responsible and accountable for the full scope of our GHG emissions and deliver nature-based climate solutions that mitigate these and drive positive change.

I am therefore inviting CEOs across all sectors to come together in the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge. I believe that collective action is imperative if we are to help create a future in which society can thrive and business can succeed, while nature is restored and protected. I sincerely hope you will join us.

Marco Bizzarri
Gucci President & CEO

For CEOs interested in joining the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge please contact:


To participate in the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge companies need to adhere to six guiding principles.
Read the guiding principles: here


Following Gucci’s initial carbon neutral announcement on 12 September 2019, key stakeholders acknowledged the importance of Gucci’s carbon neutral approach encompassing the entire supply chain which underlines the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge.

“I want to congratulate Gucci for their climate neutrality commitment. It shows bold and ambitious climate action to move to net zero emissions with immediate effect. We are encouraged to see leading companies taking commitments aligned with net-zero emissions as soon as possible. Net zero emissions can be achieved by reducing companies emissions in their operations and value chains, complemented with natural climate solutions to cover any residual emissions. This is true commitment. We commend it and call for others to join the movement towards net zero emissions, the most important challenge we face today.” Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

“Through Gucci’s commitment to carbon neutrality across its supply chain, the company is forging a path for game-changing, and urgently needed, climate action. Gucci’s vision of change is valuable and demonstrates the need to measure value-chain wide emissions, collaborate with suppliers and support nature based solutions to achieve the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 1.5°C.” Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR

Read more: here

The original article can be viewed on via this link