Kering Eyewear launches the blockchain-based “VIRTUS” project


(PRESS RELEASE) Kering Eyewear takes a major step in its sustainable development strategy by launching and staging the new VIRTUS project: a verified, integrated, reliable, trustworthy, unique and secure data exchange platform, based on blockchain technology as a key catalyst for the assessment and traceability of all operations involved in the manufacturing system.

This substantial decision comes as a further attestation of Kering Eyewear’s objective of complying with the pillars of the Kering Group’s sustainable development: Caring for the planet, Collaborating for people and Creating innovation, based on low-cost solutions. impact and innovative materials that will ultimately inspire and empower future generations. to design and manufacture truly sustainable products.

Launched in 2018, the new VIRTUS system adopts blockchain technology on a regulated platform that will allow the business to effectively measure and quantify the impact of all parts and processes throughout production workflows. Each partner in the Kering Eyewear network will be called upon to record directly on the digital platform the data and information necessary to verify and confirm that each link in the chain adheres to the quality standards and environmental, social and ethical practices set. by Kering Eyewear.

This new governance structure, integrated into Kering Eyewear’s already revolutionary business model, represents a pioneering case in the industry where a luxury company implements a proprietary tool to ensure the vertical mapping and scrutiny of its value chain. through an extremely widespread and articulated organization; an expanded ecosystem made up of more than 20 key suppliers who, in turn, work with a large number of contractors and subcontractors spread across Italy and abroad.

In fact, since its inception in 2014, Kering Eyewear has consistently operated with a multi-tiered supply chain, locally and globally, to provide an extraordinarily competitive and differentiated range of sunglasses and optical frames for all brands. present in his portfolio. Teaming up with the best partners in the industry is a major driver of the company’s successful business model, but also an extremely difficult scenario in the current transition to the new operating system.

This initiative aims to encourage greater transparency and awareness of the impact that each actor has on the value chain, by promoting a peer-to-peer storage network in which each actor will be part of the positive change, by working more closely and transparently under a shared vision of trust and respect.

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In this context of progress, the combination of cutting-edge technology and radical integrity will be a prerequisite to encourage and strengthen permanent dialogue and cross-collaboration between all entities, which Kering Eyewear firmly regards as an essential action and a founding element for the future. business growth.

Breakthrough innovation, sustainability and respect for people and the planet are essential values ​​for Kering Eyewear, values ​​which are also adopted by the new technological revolution VIRTUS and its mission to integrate in synergy several voices to trace, monitor and connect a complete quantity of information and figures within a realistic repository for each passage integrated into the production chain.

The blockchain is a centralized and distributed ledger that will allow all parties to contribute to the creation of the database specific to Kering Eyewear’s products through unambiguous and unalterable transactions, without any intervention of intermediaries. The cryptographic secure system prevents hacks and manipulations while timely updates, replications and synchronizations of data create trust, authenticity and transparency in the accounting asset.

All the data uploaded to the ledger leads to full traceability of the manufactured product, following the product’s journey directly from its origins – from the origin of raw materials and components to processing, final assembly and associated certifications – thus providing an accurate, comprehensive and reliable overview of every action and aspect behind the manufacture of eyewear today and tomorrow.

With this remarkable project, Kering Eyewear used the Blockchain platform as a starting point, developing an advanced solution that enables real-time workflow across different companies, addresses alignment and data integration issues, and delivers to each partner full visibility of their active contribution as a whole. Supply Chain.

After the pilot launch in 2018 with the initial participation of 5 partners, the project has rapidly evolved to currently have 16 partners involved, and its availability is expected to increase and extend to the entire Kering Eyewear supply chain from next year, including the direct participation of Certottica, the Italian Institute for the Certification of Optical Products.

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“VIRTUS is a complex and challenging journey through true innovation and sustainability,” said Barbara Lissi, Global Supply Chain Manager at Kering Eyewear. “After a 3-year start-up phase, we are now in a position to begin to establish a clear and transparent roadmap of our entire supply chain, carrying out detailed analysis and insight into the provenance and characteristics of each composition and each manufacturing technique behind what we do. We believe that collecting and sharing truthful information, tracing the source of raw materials and components used, is the most consistent and respectful way to corroborate the quality of our products and their full compliance with our standards. ethical and aesthetic.

“Fostering innovation means adapting cutting-edge technology to the philosophy of collaboration and sharing at the heart of our business,” commented Daniel Bellini, Global Head of IT and Planning at Kering Eyewear. “Our blockchain-based method guarantees the protection, security and authenticity of every transaction, providing full identifiability and traceability of our products and partners through verifiable and immutable data. This initiative represents not only a real revolution for the industry, but also a profound and inevitable transformation of our progressive path towards increased efficiency and transparent communication ”.