Earlier this year, Gucci helped fund environmental film Home and even donated to an environmental nonprofit all the profits from an organic T-shirt that cost $195 each. Now, the Gucci Group is going beyond short-term eco-commitments to change some of its own business practices permanently — by agreeing to stop using rain forest-destroying paper.

That decision comes thanks to pressure from the Rainforest Action Network, the environmental group that’s been running a Don’t Bag Indonesia’s Rainforests campaign. Today, RAN sent out a press release announcing that the Gucci Group adopted “perhaps the luxury industry’s strongest paper policy.” The luxury fashion company will now shun paper from Indonesian rain forests and plantations — as well as paper from other less-than-green suppliers.

That means the Gucci Group’s many high-end fashion brands — including Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen — will all be switching over to recycled or FSC-certified paper products by December 2010. Come the holiday season next year, Gucci shoppers who don’t bring their own reusable bags will at least get greener shopping bags that don’t destroy rain forests.

Yes, I know — somewhat greener disposable shopping bags aren’t exactly going to turn reduce-and-reuse-focused MNN readers into Gucci shoppers — especially in this economy. But the paper swap is a big victory for RAN, which can now add the Gucci Group to the growing list of companies — including Tiffany & Co., H&M Group, Staples and Unisource — that have agreed to green up their paper trail since RAN started pushing fashion companies to leave rain forests intact.

Photo: hiroshiken