Fashion enterprises and decarbonization: where do we stand? The virtuous example of Conceria Nuvolari



Italy is among the few European countries that do not yet have a specific climate law. Desirable provision to identify new measures to close the gap with the goals set by the European Green Deal, the plan to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.


But what does climate neutral mean? Achieving a balance between greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity and carbon uptake. The European climate law calls for a gradual reduction of greenhouse gases with two intermediate targets: 55 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2040, reaching net zero in 2050. The ultimate intent is to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial times. Beyond specific regulations and Italian guidelines that have been slow to arrive, companies are showing increasing awareness of embracing environmental sustainability issues to integrate them into business logic. This is demonstrated by the study L'impegno delle aziende italiane per il net-zero, carried out by Ipsos and the Italian Network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The research shows that fashion companies are among the most aware and active in terms of initiatives to combat climate change. The analysis involved more than 1,100 Italian companies from all sectors. For the fashion sector, 57 companies were analyzed.

In general, without distinguishing between sectors, the research shows that only 1 in 5 Italian companies has a structured plan of initiatives to address climate change; among UNGC member companies, however, the level rises to 2/3. In terms of commitment to calculating and reducing its emissions, the national average is 1 in 10 companies, compared to 8 in 10 of UNGC member companies. In particular, the fashion sector is among those showing the most environmental responsibility (75 percent). According to the research, 62 percent of fashion companies take initiatives to combat climate change, but of these only 27 percent say they have a structured action plan and clearly outlined goals. In addition, 68% also say they carry out awareness initiatives aimed at employees, but of these only 20% do so programmatically.


Finally, only 13% say they calculate the carbon footprint of their business, while 9% plan to do so in the future. As for setting specific targets for emissions reduction, 14% have already defined concrete actions, while 18% plan to do so. Although within a small sample, the fashion industry, ranks second in terms of intention to set zero emission targets.

It is within this scenario that the initiative of Tannery Nuvolari, which has already been working with Rete Clima, a nonprofit organization specializing in ESG pathways, since 2021, fits. The company, in three years, counts a total of 2,927 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent carbon offset, or offset through the support of 6 certified emission reduction projects in Korea and India. In particular, Conceria Nuvolari has offset the company's emissions for the year 2023, in relation to the production of the Nature-L® article - a 98 percent bio-based animal leather line certified for 85.3 percent biodegradability and 77.2 percent compostability criteria - by supporting the certified Wind Power Project in Rajasthan. The project involves generating electricity from wind power by installing 16 wind turbine generators in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. The aim is to produce energy from renewable sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The local population benefits threefold: the project promotes improved air quality in the region; generates job opportunities by building the infrastructure and operating the plants; and last but not least, positively impacts India's energy deficit situation by contributing to the supply of electricity from renewable sources and making energy accessible to more people. The carbon offset projects supported by Tannery Nuvolari participate in the VCS Program, Verified Carbon Standard - Verra.

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