Why is social responsibility so important?
The enormous economic, social and cultural transformations that have occurred globally in the last fifteen years, have profoundly changed the income pattern of luxury products. While the concept of luxury could previously have been a category in itself in terms of values such as quality, social utility, ethics and respect for the environment, nowadays it is increasingly more closely linked to these questions that are strongly conditioning company competitiveness. As a consequence, companies are beginning to equip themselves, some with a strategic vision to increase their brand reputation in the medium-long term, others with a more tactical approach in order to give sales an immediate boost. In any case, CSR is at the core of leading brands’ policies for redefining their value position towards new consumers, based on product history, traceability and quality of the materials, denomination of origin, work organization, transparent supply chain models, attention to eco-sustainability. All passages that directly concern gold and jewellery companies, making the green revolution one of their principal challenges over the coming years.
How is IEG with VICENZAORO providing concrete help for the entrepreneurs along the supply chain?
IEG’s role, according to an avant-garde conception of a trade show player with its sights set on generating highly qualitative content, as well as creating business opportunities, is to spread values and practices on CSR themes, with the aim of promoting culture along the entire jewellery supply chain. At the VICENZAORO events, we provide exhibitors, buyers, operators and the media with a variety of services on the subject: conferences, seminars and workshops for training and to give information about successful case histories, new trends, regulations. At the September edition, for example, we will be organizing a conference on the impact of the new EU legislation on the jewellery industry and on the strategies to enact in order to respond effectively to the new requirements. We have been committed to this for several years now, and IEG actually received, through CIBJO (World Jewellery Confederation), formal credit from ECOSOC, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, for implementing Corporate Social Responsibility activities in the jewellery sector.
How are jewellery companies taking on this new challenge?
I have to say that several jewellery companies have already embarked on the green road. For others, the way is more complex, not because they are not willing to become socially responsible, but because CSR is an articulated transformation that cannot be made from one day to the next, especially for companies with a consolidated tradition. It touches the very depths of company philosophy, it requires a new vision, revised business models, a new managerial approach, the involvement of collaborators, suppliers and stakeholders.