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GREEN AWARD: Bottega Veneta has received its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED 2009 NC) platinum certification from the Green Building Council, said the fashion firm’s president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri on Wednesday.
The confirmation came after Bottega Veneta, which is controlled by Kering, purchased Villa Schroeder-Da Porto in Montebello Vicentino, outside Vicenza, Italy, in 2005, and began a lengthy restoration project to transform the 18th-century residence into an eco-friendly new headquarters.
“To start with, our [growing] staff no longer fit into the old atelier, and so we made virtue out of necessity,” said Bizzarri, adding that providing employees with pleasant surroundings and generous benefits was good for business. “The products are made by people, and our real innovation comes from the interaction between our artisans and creative director and of the artisans amongst themselves. So we needed to ensure that they had the best possible place to work.” Bizzarri also highlighted Bottega Veneta’s inclusion in the 2014 Great Place to Work ranking in Italy.
With its large windows, solar panels, bicycle storage space and about 592,000 square feet of surrounding greenery, the Montebello Vicentino villa was renovated using over 75 percent of its existing materials, and the remainder came from the immediate area. “It was a significant investment… but I really believe in these things,” said Bizzarri, noting that while many consumers are oblivious to the ecological footprints of luxury fashion brands, that is changing, and companies that follow sustainable development plans will be more competitive in the long run.