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Consumers of luxury goods are paying attention to the engagement beyond the product

The digital panel Innovating the Present for a Sustainable Future highlighted Bvlgari’s commitment to CSR and introduced the Virus Free Fund – the report

In the Webinar Innovating the Present for a Sustainable Future, hosted by the Roman Jeweler Bvlgari on June 17th, the company’s President and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin highlighted Bvlgari’s efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility and embraced its commitment to sustainability.

For years, the Roman Jeweler has been forefront with initiatives aiming to eliminate challenges such as poverty or environmental issues by reimagining and reinventing its work. The digital panel highlighted the company’s commitment to CSR and introduced the Virus Free Fund. Luisa Zargani, Women’s Wear Daily Milan Bureau Chief, introduced the panelists. Along with Jean-Christophe Babin, Sarah Gilber, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, Claudia D’Arpizio, Partner Bain and Global Head of fashion and luxury vertical and Eleonora Rizzuto, CSR Director at Bvlgari Group and LVMH Italian brands were discussing the importance of sustainability, traceability, and transparency in the business of luxury.

«In the times of a crisis like Covid-19, trends and the awareness of topics such as equality and human rights are being exhilarated. Consumers of luxury goods are not paying attention to the good itself but focus on the engagement beyond the product. Millennials and the Gen Z demand brands to participate in the Zeitgeist. They are building the future and want luxury brands to provide their voice», explains D’Arpizio.

Since 2009, Bvlgari has helped the initiative Save The Children by implementing projects with the focus on education and youth empowerment. The funds managed to raise $100 million benefiting 2 million disadvantaged children across the world. With the arrival of Covid-19, Bvlgari launched a series of projects helping hospitals in Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The company has established the Virus Free Fund, a non-profit organization that will finance institutions pursuing research strategies to achieve alleviation and cure of the virus. It will support the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute as well as the Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in the battle with Covid-19. A Bvlgari scholarship offer for two Oxford University students motivated by epidemiology should furthermore support the research processes.

«Bvlgari has the chance of operating in the center, where we work closely with the gems of nature and sustainability. With the fund we can participate in a global effort and the process in determining a program that exhilarates a COVID-19 vaccination», says Babin. Bvlgari will offer its customers the opportunity to contribute to the Fund and other Bvlgari initiatives by donating through the AURA Blockchain Network. 

BULGARI VIRUS FREE
‘BVLGARI VIRUS FREE FUND’

Together with international LVMH brands, Bvlgari intends to apply the blockchain to fundraising, guaranteeing the traceability of donations and the authenticity of luxury goods. The customers would be able to receive responses on agendas that go beyond the company.

«The more transparency, the more customization we apply to the donation, the more people will be willing to generate donations». Eleonora Rizzuto, the Corporate Social Responsibility Director underlines that Bvlgari has developed strategies, inspired by the Circular Economy to reduce the company’s environmental footprint. In terms of sustainability, the Roman Jeweler adopted a Plastic Free Policy in 2019, to reduce the amount of plastic used across its offices, stores, and factories, to reuse materials and to innovate the industry through collaborations. From 2017 to 2019, Bvlgari reduced 19% of the amount of plastic used in its packaging. By the first quarter of 2021, the company aims to introduce a plastic-free packaging.

«Our policy is like a manifesto from the points that we are following about the target towards Plastic Free. It has to be planned around steps», underlines Rizzuto. To implement consciousness and make the CSR strategies and initiatives succeed, a «top-down and down top» exchange with employees, partners and suppliers would be essential. Staff training and education on the subject of sustainability, as well as set guidelines accompanying this change in culture, would be the first step. «The industrial sector represents step two. Not only has the visible packaging to be plastic-free, but we also intend to ban the plastic packaging, utilized during the production process. We introduced alternatives to reduce usage. The third step finished in 2021 is to get the packaging itself plastic-free. This is linked to technology. We are researching for alternatives – bio compostable, organic materials. Lastly, we will declare the hotels plastic-free», she tells Lampoon. «We have to do more. But we have achieved an essential target. We have everybody on board, and that is the only way we can make sustainability possible». 

Bvlgari launched the e-commerce platform in Italy

The belief in the importance of technology in the 21st century, resulted in an launch of Bvlgari e-commerce platforms in seven additional countries, including Italy, France, Korea, Mexico and Brazil, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. In Italy, the e-commerce service has been online since June 4th. In addition to jewelry, attention has been paid to the category of accessories: it is possible to personalize them with the customers initials, view them in 3D and through augmented reality, a technology applicable to the iOS operating system that Bvlgari has used since 2019. Bvlgari’s journey towards the integrated omnichannel experience started at the end of 2000, with the intervention of the online store. Since then, the platform has been redesigned, customer support and logistics have evolved into fundamental service activities. To date, the Maison Bvlgari had come to include eight countries: The United States, Canada, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and Australia. In these areas, the products can be shipped to the customer and picked up in a boutique, or the purchase can be made through a booking of appointments in the store.

More than 80% of the customers who buy in a Bvlgari store have had previous digital contact with the brand, both through the website and through the official social media channels. The e-commerce expansion will enable the customers to access Bvlagri products from fifteen countries.

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