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 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. 40 of the Sustainability Report.
In addition, measures to reduce energy and resource consumption are being implemented, whether through manufacturing facilities with smart energy control systems or through energy-efficient, heat-insulated and eco-friendly infrastructures and production sites. 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 improvement in the year under review.
Data collection was improved in 2022. For instance, there are now more details about waste recycling and water consumption. There are set Group-wide greenhouse gas targets. It should be noted that due to their diversity, the business entities set 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. 116 of the Sustainability Report.
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 “The Spirit of Biel/Bienne”. The solar mobile won the World Solar Challenge in Australia at the time. The first solar-powered Swatch (1995) stems from this period, and it has lost none of its appeal. As a result, the Group’s early commitment to protecting the climate remains an important value, and Swatch Group remains motivated to play its part in sustainable climate action in the long term.
The Group aims to achieve its 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 set for all production units in Switzerland since 2013, and they apply generally to the entire Group on a consolidated basis. 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.
Strategy for achieving climate goals
In order to achieve its reduction targets, the Group will focus its efforts in the coming years on its most CO2-intensive sites. The principles listed on the right will guide this work. 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
Fossil fuel energy sources are therefore being gradually replaced by renewable energy sources.
1. Avoid the use of resources that have no associated benefit
2. Reduce energy consumption to the necessary and technically feasible minimum
3. Efficient and effective operation of installations, as well as heat recovery
4. Alternative to fossil-fuel energy sources, such as regenerative or zero-carbon energy sources
5. Independent generation or conversion of energy at the sites themselves
6. Energy storage systems and carbon offsetting projects
Swatch Group is also committed to reducing Scope 2 emissions. The following approaches will be used to reduce Scope 2 emissions over the next few years:
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 generation;
- 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.
Experts from the Energy Management Team support the business entities with their climate efforts. In addition to carrying out more extensive assessments and projects aimed at achieving climate neutrality at specific sites, they drew up a guideline in the year under review containing practical tips for saving energy and a list of do’s and don’ts. It suggests different ways that energy consumption can be further reduced in the short and medium term.
Swiss production plant environmental program, GHG emissions and energy efficiency
In 2013, Swatch Group, with the support of the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW), signed a binding target agreement regarding stationary GHG emissions (Scope 1) with the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). All of the Group’s Swiss production facilities are bound by this agreement and implement measures to help achieve Swatch Group’s energy targets.