Innovating the present for a sustainable future
*Webinar moderator, WWD Milan Bureau Chief Luisa Zargani, Bvlgari President and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin; Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford; Claudia D’Arpizio, Partner at Bain & Company and Global Head of the Fashion & Luxury vertical, and Eleonora Rizzuto, CSR Director of the Bvlgari Group and LVMH Italian Brands.
After retracing the most important steps of the company’s “giving back” strategy, spanning from the ongoing collaboration with Save The Children to Bvlgari’s cultural patronage, Bvlgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin illustrated the different activities which Bvlgari put into action to support the fight against the Coronavirus by converting its fragrance production to manufacture hand sanitising gel. This has been donated to medical facilities across Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
During the webinar, the Bvlgari Virus Free Fund establishment was announced. This is a financial programme to support high-end institutions pursuing innovative research strategies to achieve remission and find cures for different types of viruses.
In particular, the Bvlgari Virus Free Fund will support two major institutions: The University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute as well as Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, which Bvlgari already supported at the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency by financing the purchase of a hi-tech microscope.
With the Jenner Institute, the Bvlgari Virus Free Fund will also create two scholarships covering four years of PhD studies. The initiative aims at supporting graduate students and postdoctoral scholars conducting COVID-19 research.
“Over the past few months, we have witnessed the shocking and detrimental effects of COVID-19 on every aspect of our society throughout the world. We can never let this happen again. Bvlgari vows not only to contribute to the fight against COVID-19, but also to work with the global leaders in Medical Sciences at Oxford University, to nurture the most talented minds of tomorrow. I am honoured and proud to have the opportunity to support Oxford in this common goal of eradicating viruses and stopping future pandemics in their tracks,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, President and CEO of Bvlgari.
Bvlgari’s constant commitment to social and corporate responsibility deeply reflects the importance of guaranteeing transparency and traceability. The AURA blockchain network, which Bvlgari developed in collaboration with a range of international luxury brands, enables consumers to trace the history and authenticity of luxury goods. However, AURA is suitable for multiple uses, including fundraising, for a new concept of Charity 4.0.
In the coming months, consumers that buy one of the products included in the Save The Children range or that want to make a donation to the Virus Free Fund will be able to digitally track the entire journey of their donation and see the concrete effects of their generosity.
Showcasing the diverse, multifaceted commitment of Bvlgari to the implementation of its CSR program, Eleonora Rizzuto also explained how the Roman luxury house, inspired by the principles of Circular Economy (reduce, re-use, recycle and innovate), is developing a strategy aimed at drastically reducing the environmental footprint of its activities.
The company, which in 2019 already adopted a Plastic-Free Policy and Manifesto, announced that its hotels and resorts will go plastic free by the end of 2020, to promote an eco-sustainable lifestyle.