The OTB group presented its first sustainability report in Milan yesterday, relating to 2021. «A starting point – explained the founder Renzo Rosso -. Sustainability does not mean making a bag with recycled plastic, it is a state of mind which means, among other things, giving back to the world a part of what one has earned, as my father told me ». This was echoed by Ubaldo Minelli, CEO of the group: «We wanted to anticipate the regulations that do not require this document to be mandatory for unlisted companies. It is one of the steps towards the listing, which we aspire to, and we expect between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025 “.
From renewable energies to circularity
The sustainability report reports the activities of the group – which includes five brands (Diesel, Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Marni and Jil Sander) and two production companies (Staff International and Brave Kid) – in three macro areas of action: “Protecting our Planet” , “The New Fashion System” and “Brave Together”. “Right now, doing sustainable business is a courageous choice – explains Sara Mariani, OTB’s chief sustainability officer, who heads a team of 19 people -. In 2021, 41% of the electricity used in the company’s internal operations came from renewable sources and we are working to activate the carbon neutrality of our operations in 2030, to the use of packaging made with materials derived from renewable resources by 2023 for customers. B2B and in 2025 for all. Above all, we are imagining and trying to implement a new system based on circularity, which each brand is interpreting in a personal way: from Diesel’s Second Hand to Margiela’s Recicla ». The theme of circularity – with which OTB is also working together with other Italian brands – is one of the group’s priorities for action, together with traceability: “The idea is to create a traceability platform for the supply chain beyond the” tier 1 ”- continues Mariani -. 96% of the group’s environmental impact is due to raw materials, including transport: this is why we want to favor local materials ».
Focus on social impact
Then there is the social impact, which embraces the themes of diversity, inclusiveness, but also the rights of workers. «51% of the managers of the group are women and in the structures this percentage rises to 63%. They are women who are not in certain places because they are women, but because they deserve it ”, explains Renzo Rosso. Which in 2008 created a foundation to reduce inequalities and help communities: in 24 years the Otb Foundation has developed over 300 projects with a direct impact on the lives of about 300 thousand people.
Support for the supply chain
The community that OTB has decided to help for some time is that of companies that work with and for the group, more than half of which (53%) are micro companies and in 73% of cases they are located in Italy. “In 2013 we created the Cash project (subsidized credit – suppliers’ help, ed) which since 2013 allows eligible suppliers to collect in advance, through a bank, the receivables from Otb at facilitated economic conditions with the group that acts as guarantor. We have disbursed 400 million euros in nine years, ”says Minelli. The next step in supporting the supply chain will be to acquire minority stakes in some companies: «We will enter on tiptoe, respecting the entrepreneur».