We have a long history of investing in the communities in which we operate. We encourage all our employees to dedicate up to three working days a year to support their local communities and our business donates 1% of adjusted Group profits before tax to charitable causes every year. These range from supporting disaster relief efforts to nurturing emerging talent through scholarships at the Royal College of Art, with a significant proportion going to the Burberry Foundation (UK registered charity number 1154468).
Our goal is to positively impact 1 million people by 2022 by supporting Foundation-led programmes in key communities around the world. In 2017/18, we helped to positively impact 23,000 people, with this number set to increase exponentially as programmes reach maturity over the next few years. Key areas of focus are:
- Tackling educational inequality and enhancing career advice for young people in the UK
- Fostering community cohesion and supporting youth employability in Italy
- Supporting social and economic empowerment of rural communities in Afghanistan
TACKLING EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY AND ENHANCING CAREER ADVICE IN THE UK
Yorkshire is home to our iconic trench coat, with our sites in Keighley and Castleford manufacturing in the area for over 40 years. Unfortunately, it is also home to a significant number of areas of deprivation and low social mobility with young people having a low chance to advance and progress in their economic status throughout their lives.
A key barrier to social mobility is unequal access to education, which can impact a child’s chances from as young as two years old. In Yorkshire, levels in reading, writing and mathematics amongst 5-7 year olds are some of the lowest in the UK, while attainment in national examinations taken upon leaving high school were the second lowest in the UK.
In 2017, we supported the Burberry Foundation in launching a five-year partnership with Teach First and The Careers & Enterprise Company, two leading youth-focused organisations, to help tackle educational inequality and enhance career advice for young people from disadvantaged communities in Yorkshire. Both partners will be delivering a series of training and engagement activities, to positively impact the lives of more than 300,000 young people over five years. Activities are aimed at inspiring students about the world of work by increasing their understanding of the wide range of possible career paths and preparing them for their future working lives.
Through our annual donation to the Burberry Foundation and by leveraging the skills and experience of our employees, we are supporting Teach First in increasing the awareness amongst students, teachers and schools of the variety of career pathways available, particularly within the creative industries, and the importance of arts and creativity in the classroom. During 2017/18, over 5,000 students and teachers have already benefited from a variety of activities. From hosting a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) panel session at a teacher development conference to delivering student inspiration days at our manufacturing sites in Castleford and Keighley, each activity provided students and teachers with an opportunity to develop their understanding of the creative industries.
The partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company aims to transform career advice by developing strong links between schools and local businesses and creating new work experience opportunities for young people. Since the partnership launched in August 2017, over 14,000 students and teachers have been engaged, from schools most in need of support. We have partnered with The Careers & Enterprise Company in delivering activities such as school workshops and Continuing Professional Development sessions for teachers, each with a particular focus on the creative industries. The partnership has also seen the beginning of an expansion of The Careers & Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Advisors Network in Yorkshire, which over the next four years will connect 40 schools to local employers and career opportunities.
FOSTERING COMMUNITY COHESION AND YOUTH EMPLOYABILITY IN ITALY
With a strong tradition of creativity and craftsmanship, the Florentine area in Italy is renowned for its garment and luxury leather goods. However, in recent years, the region has started facing increasing levels of poverty, youth unemployment and economic migration.
In 2017, we have supported the Burberry Foundation in setting up a five-year partnership with Oxfam, a globally renowned aid and development charity, to foster cohesion between local and migrant communities through multi-cultural spaces and events, innovative youth employability programmes and a network of facilitators dedicated to improving access to community support services.
The partnership with Oxfam focuses on fostering community cohesion and social inclusion in the provinces of Florence, Prato and Pistoia, a key manufacturing hub for the luxury industry. This will be achieved through a range of activities focused on improving educational services and enhancing accessibility to the job market, as well as local health, educational and financial services. The goal is to benefit at least 200,000 community members by 2022.
The programme comprises three types of interventions – school workshops and youth mentoring programmes, community centres and community facilitators. School workshops and mentoring programmes will target students who are facing challenges at school and are considered at risk of dropping out. Existing community centres will be expanded and new centres opened, to provide multi-purpose spaces for creative and educational activities and host community gatherings, cultural events and Italian language courses for migrant community members. Furthermore, a network of community facilitators will be established to improve access to local health, educational and financial services. The programme will help promote more frequent dialogue between different community groups in the area.
Since the programme launched in October 2017, over 400 community members have already benefitted from educational and recreational activities.
SUPPORTING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT IN AFGHANISTAN
Despite persistent armed conflict and extreme poverty, Afghanistan remains the third largest producer of cashmere fibre, after Mongolia and China, and a key sourcing region for the luxury fashion industry.
In 2017, we supported the Burberry Foundation in establishing a five-year partnership with Oxfam and PUR Project, the first a globally renowned aid and development charity and the second a leading organisation working with companies to regenerate the ecosystems they depend upon, to empower and support goat farming and cashmere producing communities in Afghanistan, particularly in the Herat and Balkh provinces. The partnership aims to positively impact the lives of over 300,000 people over the course of five years and ensure long-term impact and resilience in Afghanistan by promoting community resilience, alleviating poverty and creating better links between producers and the market; fostering further social and economic development.
Taking a multi-tiered approach, programme interventions will seek to increase the value obtained for cashmere producing men and women and improve their livelihoods.
To increase the production of cashmere along with meat and dairy, a Producer Knowledge Programme will be delivered to engage and train herders and the wider community on a variety of topics including: animal health, disease prevention, welfare, nutrition, breeding, combing and trade. The training will be applicable to herders’ entire livestock, as this will help improve their overall income. This programme will also establish an infrastructure to further animal health and nutrition, by providing improved veterinary and pasture management services. Additionally, a breeding programme will seek to improve the genetic varieties affecting the goats’ overall health and the quality of the cashmere fibre. Training will be offered on breeding techniques to maximise fertility and animal value. Working in partnership with a local NGO, a main elite flock of goats will be created and individual goats distributed to local herders, to help them achieve better breeding outcomes.
In Afghanistan, the village is the centre of social interaction. The partnership with Oxfam and PUR Projet aims to establish a collective action structure at the village level to provide local herders with a space for training events, meetings, cashmere storage and trading activities. These collective organisations will also link to district and provincial level organisations and will aim to increase herders’ ability to obtain a higher value for their cashmere and pro-actively include women in decision-making at senior management level.
To ensure success of the programme, Oxfam and PUR Projet will engage with the Afghanistan government to inform the revision of the cashmere policy framework, design and implementation of new government norms and standards for cashmere production and trade. Specifically, engagement will focus on relevant government ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Land, the Ministry of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce.
By 2022, the aim is to have created a strengthened environment for goat producers in Afghanistan, with a 10% increase in cashmere production and a 10% increase in goat meat and dairy production per producer involved in the programme.