Environmental protection is firmly anchored in all Swatch Group divisions and companies, and represents a core priority that is respected, promoted and implemented daily by every employee in the company. The Group applies this conviction along the entire value chain, from product design and production processes to the recycling of its durable and sustainable products. The Group’s brands develop new products using recycled or recyclable, organic and compostable materials wherever possible. In order to efficiently implement the Group’s strategy for sustainable product design, it has started conducting Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to better identify and minimize environmental impacts.
↗ Further information on LCAs can be found on p. 26 of the Sustainability Report.
Moreover, measures to reduce energy and resource consumption are implemented, whether through manufacturing facilities with intelligent energy control systems or through energy-efficient, heat-insulated and eco-friendly infrastructures. To optimize ecological and energy performance, ultra-modern technologies and building materials are used for new production and other buildings and renovations; this practice also led to a further positive impact in the year under review.
Data collection was revised and expanded in 2021. For some key figures, specific targets have been set for Swatch Group, while targets are still being defined for other figures. Because of their diversity, the business entities define their own targets and measures for many key figures, which are not presented in this report in a consolidated form.
↗ Further information on data collection can be found on p. 87 of the Sustainability Report.
GRI disclosures 103-2,103-3
Energy and emissions
As early as 1990, Swatch Group campaigned for a reduction of GHG emissions and lower energy consumption through its sponsorship of the solar mobile Spirit of Biel. At that time, the solar mobile won the World Solar Challenge in Australia. The first solar-powered Swatch (1995), which has lost none of its appeal, stems from this period. In this way, the Group’s early commitment to climate protection remains an important value, and Swatch Group remains motivated to contributing to sustainable climate action in the long term.
The Group aims to achieve the goal of climate neutrality for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2050. A strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been developed; the targets are reviewed regularly and, if possible, a faster reduction strategy is implemented.
In order to reduce Scope 1 emissions, targets for energy-efficiency gains and GHG reductions have been defined for all production units in Switzerland since 2013, which in principle also apply on a consolidated basis to the entire Group. Production sites and distribution companies located outside Switzerland, in particular the many boutiques and service centers, are also working to improve their energy performance. Although the boutiques and service centers consume far less energy than the production plants in Switzerland, they are nevertheless included in the range of measures to reduce emissions and energy consumption.
GRI disclosures 103-2,103-3
Strategy for achieving climate goals
In order to achieve the reduction targets, efforts in the coming years will be concentrated on the most CO2-intensive sites. The principles according to the illustration below are taken into consideration accordingly. Depending on the site, different innovative technologies are being considered in order to overcome the challenge presented by energy transition in industry. The renovation of old building structures presents a particular challenge in this respect; however, equal priority is being given to production processes, the integration of smart building management systems, the establishment of decentralized energy management systems and new buildings. The most important thing to consider is the source of the energy required. In this regard, the following energy sources are considered in terms of achieving the target:
- Green/blue electricity (hydropower, wind power, photovoltaics)
- District heating
- Local wood
- Geothermal energy, ambient heat and solar thermal energy
- Green/blue hydrogen (from renewable energy or natural gas)
- Sustainably produced biogenic fuels (e.g., biodiesel CH).
ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS AND
Fossil fuel energy sources are therefore being replaced by renewable energy sources. Swatch Group is now also committed to reducing Scope 2 emissions and positively contributing to climate neutrality in a more comprehensive manner.
The following approaches will be used to reduce Scope 2 emissions over the next few years:
- Reducing electricity consumption, measures for higher energy efficiency;
- Expanding internal renewable electricity production;
- Purchasing electricity from renewable sources.
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, each Group company defines its own specific targets and measures. Carbon offsetting is not the top priority as Swatch Group wants to actually eliminate emissions and not simply offset them.
GRI disclosures 103–2, 103–3
Product design and handling of materials
GRI disclosure 301-1
Each year, Swatch Group uses a few tens of thousands of metric tons of raw materials, such as steel, brass, gold, plastics, leather, diamonds and the materials used for packaging. The individual companies are responsible for recording and optimizing the materials that are used.
A detailed, group-wide data collection system for the materials used is currently in development. This system will mean that information on individual material categories can also be reported on a consolidated basis. Paper consumption is already recorded on a consolidated basis. The scope of the information recorded was expanded in the year under review and now includes printing paper, advertising materials and sanitary paper. A comparison with the values from the previous year is therefore not possible. In 2021, paper consumption totaled 717 metric tons.
New materials: vegan alternatives, recycled, recyclable, compostable and bio-based materials
Swatch Group promotes the use of materials that can be recycled and reused. If this is not possible, Swatch Group companies are encouraged to prioritize materials that are bio-based, compostable or biodegradable. Such materials should at a minimum be recyclable for use in generating energy.
Swatch started a revolution in 1983 by launching watches that were responsibly manufactured with only 51 components. 37 years later, the brand introduced a bio-sourced plastic, which was added to its collection in September 2020. Launched in 2021, the BIOCERAMIC material is the latest development in a series of ideas. This new, innovative material mixes bio-sourced polymer derived from the castor bean plant with ceramic powder. The result is a lightweight, robust material with a silky smooth finish.
More on www.swatch.com
Swatch Group Quality Management supports brands and production companies in the selection of materials and ensures that, where necessary, environmental designations (recycled, recyclable, organic, bio-based, compostable or biodegradable) are evidenced by appropriate documentation or certification.
In order to meet market demands, Swatch Group brands are developing materials that suit the lifestyles of as many customers as possible. The market is moving towards materials that are not derived from animals and are vegan. There are a large number of vegan certifications available; Swatch Group Quality Management therefore carried out an evaluation of existing vegan certifications and selected the certification of the BLC leather organization (Eurofins | Chem-MAP). The certification is carried out by an independent organization and consists of an evaluation of materials and raw materials through physical and chemical tests:
- A DNA test for chemicals (e.g., dyes, adhesives, paints) to ensure that no DNA of animal origin (from the entire animal kingdom) is present;
- A microscopic test (for textiles) to ensure that no animal fibers are present;
- An FTIR test (for polymers) to ensure that no animal proteins are present.
In addition, documents are thoroughly analyzed to prove conformity.
GRI disclosure 301–2
Recycled input materials used
Production processes generate residues and waste, most of which can be reused. Sprues for plastic injection molding, for example, are reused immediately in ongoing production. Gold residues are fed into an internal recycling circuit and melted down in the company’s own foundry, and Swatch Group has developed its own processes for sapphire in order to reuse the production residues internally. The company also operates its own battery recycling plant.
Reusable materials such as metals, cardboard or paper are collected and fed into an external recycling loop via recycling dealers.
Proportion of recycled input materials (selection):
- Steel: around 70% (official data from steel suppliers)
- Gold: around 80% (data from company foundry and gold bookkeeping).
In terms of weight, the majority of Swatch Group’s steel or gold watches are already made of recycled input materials. Plastic watches are also regularly converted to be made from bio-based materials. The Group aims to increase the proportion of environmentally friendly materials and record these in even further detail in the future.
Certina packaging and watch straps
Our watches leave a lasting impression. They are made to be dependable, accurate and stylish so that our customers can wear them throughout their lives for years to come. The new generation of our packaging, on the other hand, is deliberately focused on transience. In 2021, Certina debuted its high-quality, eco-packaging made from recyclable materials.
A new generation of watches was also launched in collaboration with a Swiss enterprise. Together with scientists from the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences OST, Tide Ocean SA has developed an award-winning method for turning plastic waste from the oceans into high-quality, sturdy watch straps using a mechanical upcycling process. For the first time, our customers worldwide were also able to have their say in the design of Certina’s DS PH200M as part of an internationalonline competition in March 2021.
More on www.certina.com