Sustainability Report

Environmental Protection Policy and Safety

Environmental protection and safety are self-evident in all Swatch Group’s areas and they outline a priority tenet, which is respected, promoted, and implemented daily by every employee of the company. Actions instead of words – or detailed reports – is the motto. In this way, we must all share in taking care of our environment as well as paying utmost attention to safety in general. These guiding principles are a part of the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) values on which we all place the greatest importance, as stated in a number of sections of this year's Annual Report

We are all fully aware of our responsibility to protect life, promote quality of life, ensure safety and preserve health as well as our environment. And we undertake, at all levels of the company, to do everything in our power to meet this responsibility. The company, our immediate surroundings, and the environment are the object of our utmost attention and care. The Executive Group Management Board, the Extended Group Management Board and the management of the various units ensure on a daily basis that this culture of environmental responsibility is implemented and sustained at all levels. As a matter of principle, resources are used efficiently and sparingly to ensure that our products are manufactured and marketed in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The use of recyclable materials and substances as well as environmentally friendly production methods is taken into consideration as early as the planning and development phase of each new product.

Moreover, measures to reduce energy and resource consumption are implemented, whether through manufacturing facilities with intelligent energy control systems or through energy-efficient and heat-insulated infrastructures. To achieve the best possible ecological and energy balance, ultra-modern technologies and building materials are used for new industrial facilities and renovations; this practice also led to a further positive contribution in the year under review. Every year, all values relevant to operational ecology are consolidated into a comprehensive data collection. This data is evaluated and serves as a measurement of results achieved and also as a basis for further goal setting.

New Swatch headquarters

New Swatch headquarters

Environment, safety and health – relevant measures

 

The safety and health of our employees as well as our customers worldwide, along with our environment, receive our fullest attention. Our guidelines for both direct and indirect sourcing, production, distribution and also for use of our products comply not only with the strictest international laws and directives but also with our own very high standards, which we also constantly upgrade and improve. In this respect, we have never stopped learning, and this leads the company to engage in continuous innovation and new investments.

Environmental, ethical and social criteria are also an integral part of our corporate culture as well as our sourcing policy. Responsible purchasing of industry-specific raw materials such as precious metals, diamonds, and exotic leather is of the utmost importance. Furthermore, Swatch Group decided to voluntarily eliminate the use of endangered tree species, and to use only wood originating from sustainable cultivation. This allows Swatch Group companies to make an additional important contribution to the improvement of the ecological balance. The same applies to exotic leathers, which are subject to clear internal guidelines aimed at banning the use of materials that are not produced in a sustainable and ethical manner, even if there are no legal obstacles to this. We also adhere to a simple and clear policy for the purchase of gold. Gold is sourced exclusively from traceable gold mines in the United States, Canada or Australia that meet the highest legal standards and where the authorities continuously strictly monitor the gold mines and the initial processing of the gold. The supply chain, which is kept as short as possible, goes directly from the mine to the refinery and then to our own processing operation. By the same token, we ensure that diamonds used in our products originate solely from suppliers who fully respect and apply the Kimberley Process certification system.

In relation to clearly sustainable production methods and products, Swatch Group complies with the existing directives, particularly the EU directives such as the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS), the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of hazardous chemicals (REACH), and the disposal of old electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Additional information in the area of energy and ecology is available from the Belenos Clean Power report on pages 117 and 118, and in the area of environmental protection and safety, from the Swatch Group Quality Management statement in the latest Annual Report.

Risk management

The Corporate Risk Management System is an integral part of the environmental protection and safety policy. In this system, crucial risks are regularly identified, analyzed and recorded for early detection of environmental, safety, and health risks in order to develop and implement targeted prevention measures. A significant component is Business Continuity Management. Experts determine which operating entities and their networks are important for the Group, identify the main risks (e.g. cyber-risk, fire, water, chemical substances, interruption of operations), and define measures to ensure the greatest possible Business Continuity. Prevention and emergency procedures are the focal point. A significant element of Swatch Group risk management is its policy of independence. Consequently, the company is reducing any dependence on single suppliers, distribution partners, and financial service providers. Also taken into account are sufficient inventory, expansion and modernization of production capacities, consideration of alternative supply solutions, strategically important acquisitions, and a high level of equity.

Own production facilities

Swatch Group is a fully verticalized company with a wide range of production facilities for watches, fine jewelry and electronic components as well as a worldwide network of distribution and service centers. Swatch Group, with some 150 production sites in Switzerland, produces its own movements, cases, watch crystals, hands and other watch components. Its companies in the electronics sector also have their production sites in Switzerland.

Swatch Group has only a few production sites abroad, such as Glashütte Original’s Manufacture in Glashütte, Germany or Harry Winston’s high jewelry Manufacture in New York in the
United States. Harry Winston watches are made in Switzerland at its Plan-les-Ouates factory near Geneva. Abroad – albeit just over the Swiss border – Swatch Group has three production sites that manufacture components for bracelets or precision parts. In Asia, Swatch Group operates only two production sites for the assembly of electronic components and in the field of surface treatment.

These production companies are highly specialized in their fields and accordingly, each has a specific profile in terms of safety, health, and environmental protection. Every location is supported in its development so that optimization measures can be continuously defined and implemented. The core of environmental metrology is the measurement of parameters influencing energy consumption, in particular electrical, thermal and refrigeration energy consumption and the associated CO2 emissions, as well as key figures on water consumption, waste management, battery recycling and emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These measures are recorded and analyzed in all Swatch Group entities.

Investment in new buildings and renovation

Investments in new buildings and renovation

The Swatch brand’s new “home” is not only one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, it is also a unique and new kind of place for work and innovation. It sets new benchmarks in terms of sustainable development and energy efficiency. The majority of the building was constructed from wood, a natural raw material. Its 1997 m3 of spruce timber come from Swiss forests where a quantity of wood of this amount grows in less than two hours. During its growth phase, the spruce used has decomposed around 1847 tons of greenhouse gases sucked in from the environment and absorbed it in carbonaceous form. The intelligent geothermal use of ground water to heat or cool the building, as well as the solar energy produced by the photovoltaic system, make a significant contribution to achieving an optimal CO2 balance. This use of geothermal energy is in combination with the Omega factory building and the Cité du Temps. Several water tanks have been installed on the Swatch ground. During the cooling process, cold water pumped from a withdrawal well is fed into a cold-water tank. It is then conveyed to a heat exchanger, from which the cold is extracted to help cool the building through cooling ceilings and ventilation. The heat exchanger then returns the water heated by this process to a domestic hot water tank, and from there, distributed, if necessary, to buildings on the site to supply them with thermal energy. Thanks to this ingenious device, the building is integrated into the natural water cycle. To determine the correct dimensioning of the photovoltaic system, the total electrical power required for all building functions such as ventilation, cooling, heating, basic lighting, etc. was taken into calculation during the planning stages. The honeycomb structure of the facade comprises 442 tailor-made photovoltaic elements with a total area of 1770 m2, while the PV-inverter technology was developed by subsidiaries of the company. This structure represents a savings potential of 30 tons of CO2 per year and is the perfect reflection of the philosophy adopted by Swatch Group, which consists of designing and constructing its new buildings and renovating its old buildings with a view to sustainable development and respecting the resulting principles.

 

The Group’s newer buildings, such as the Omega Manufacture, the Boncourt industrial park and the combined Universo and Rubattel et Weyermann industrial building in La Chaux-de-Fonds, were constructed with the same care and similar energy design. However, the manufacturing units of the Boncourt and Universo industrial buildings produce much more thermal energy, which is recovered by heat exchangers and used for the the heating and warm water of some parts of the production sites. As a result, the heating of these buildings consumes little or no fossil fuel. The Boncourt building also has a rainwater recovery system. This means that industrial water does not need to be drawn from the normal water supply. Instead, the recovered rainwater is purified and treated as industrial water in the company’s own water treatment plant and stored in a 100 m3 reservoir and from there, piped to the production facilities. The industrial wastewater is then recovered again at the end of the production cycle and from there, returned to the treatment plant. The industrial water is treated and reprocessed again and again in a closed circuit. The project carried out for the industrial building of Universo and Rubattel et Weyermann in La Chaux-de-Fonds deserves special mention. Originally, this industrial area was bought with a view toward renovation from a foreign company that decided to abandon its production site in Switzerland. The in-need-of-renovation site was completely dismantled, followed by a remediation of the polluted site, prior to erecting a new energy-efficient industrial building in line with Swatch Group’s philosophy. In addition, this new industrial area has a fully high technology automated, stateof-the-art water treatment plant. Wastewater is conveyed from the collection tank to a reactor where the different liquids and substances are separated. Each of the solutions and substances thus isolated is then reprocessed, tested for quality and purity, and then returned to production in a closed circuit. Swiss authorities have described this plant as the best industrial example in existence and a showpiece project. The total renovation of this industrial area has contributed to the improvement of the urban landscape, which has been welcomed by both the local authorities and the population.

Energy from self-generated renewable solar energy and hydropower production

For decades, Swatch Group has not only invested in the area of electronic systems in low-energy and energy-efficient components and integrated circuits (IC), but also runs its own energy production plants using renewable energy such as solar energy and hydropower production. Self-generated production of sustainable energy increased in recent years due to new facilities. Although the amount of self-generated sustainable power production is fairly modest, it nonetheless contributes to climatic and environmental protection. In 2019, our various power generation facilities produced approximately 1600 MWh. Total hydropower production is not constant, as it is highly dependent on the average level of precipitation. Similarly, solar energy production depends on the average amount of sunlight captured by photovoltaic installations.

Energy from self-generated renewable solar energy and hydropower production

The photovoltaic installations at the Omega Manufacture, Swatch headquarters; Distico in Biel / Bienne (BE); Longines in St-Imier (BE); and ETA in Boncourt (JU) have a total installed capacity of 1.42 MW. In 2019, the energy they produced reached almost 1131 MWh, covering an area of more than 8000 m2. The energy produced by our photovoltaic installations is not only used for the technical equipment of the buildings to which they are attached, but also for the operation of the company’s electric vehicles. The photovoltaic installations are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, particularly at Omega and Swatch, and owe their patented micro-inverter to Belenos Clean Power AG. 

La Suze and Le Bez hydroelectric power stations in Corgémont (BE), which were completely renovated and automated in 2010, were overhauled again during the year under review. Their installed capacity amounts to 160 KW. On a yearly basis, depending on rainfall, these power stations produced an average of around 525 MWh over a long period of time.

CO2 emissions from energy consumption

As early as 2001, Swatch Group began to set clear climate and efficiency goals and to contribute to climate protection. Hence, each individual entity was assimilated into the program, and measures to reduce energy consumption were defined. In order to contribute even more to climate protection and further reduce energy consumption, it was decided in early 2013 to include all Swiss production entities in a CO2 exemption program. In the process, the voluntary economic and ecological measures toward reduction of energy consumption and its associated CO2 emissions are set by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (BAFU) and fixed goals are contractually documented. The goal of this agreement is to further reduce energy consumption within the timeframe of 2013 to 2020, particularly by further reducing CO2 by 27% and at the same time increasing energy efficiency 8% by 2020. In association with the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW), energy audits have been carried out by specialists in all locations since 2013 and additional opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions were compiled. A corresponding optimized action plan to achieve the goal was developed. Since then, the defined measures have been consistently implemented and have resulted in significant CO2 reduction and tax exemptions for production sites. The action plan is regularly reviewed and updated, so that a significant contribution to climate protection can also continue to be made. Achievement of annual objectives is monitored and audited by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). Detailed audits at the individual sites as well as data compilation by the specialists are very time consuming, with the result that the figures from the audits for the year under review are only available by the middle of the following year. As soon as the audits are completed, EnAW annually issues a specific certificate reflecting the extent to which the objectives have been met.

diagrams show CO2 emissions

Already in 1990, Swatch Group supported reduction of CO2 emissions and lowering of 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 and can still be purchased today, stems from this period. With this, our early commitment to climate protection remains ever-present and motivates us to continue our contribution to climate protection. The diagrams above show CO2 emissions from the start of the new program in 2013, as well as the targets to reduce them 27% by 2020. Since the start of this new program, CO2 emissions were reduced by a total of 2951 tons, as shown in diagram 1.

Energy efficiency should be increased by a total of 8% up to and including 2020, which leads to a linear target line as shown in diagram 2. In the first six years after implementation of the new program, the diagram demonstrates that the increase in energy efficiency has exceeded the set target. 

Production and distribution companies abroad are obviously also working to improve their energy balance, not least because of their many boutiques and service centers, and are subject to clearly defined requirements. The energy consumption of these boutiques and service centers is naturally significantly lower than that of production companies in Switzerland.

CO2 emissions

Heat consumption by effective area (kWh / m2 per year)

Measured in kWh per m2 of floor space, the annual consumption of fossil energy in the form of heating oil, natural gas and district heating fell by 5.7% in the year under review compared with the previous year. Energy efficiency is constantly improving thanks to ongoing investments in both new and old buildings and production facilities. This was achieved through new buildings equipped with state-of-the-art heat pump technology, new thermal insulation and building renovation programs, the optimization or replacement of air-conditioning and water-cooling systems, the renovation of heating installations and the commissioning of new heat recovery units. Continuous investment to reduce heat consumption per unit of floor space has reduced this consumption to well over half since the introduction of the program in 2001. The extension buildings on the Omega / Swatch area in Biel / Bienne (BE) are a good example of the many efforts that have been made. They have reduced heat consumption per m2 of surface area by 48% and CO2 emissions by an impressive 55%

 

Power consumption by effective area (kWh / m2 per year)

Electricity consumption, measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) per unit area (m2) per year, was reduced by 6.7% compared to the previous year. The commissioning of new, more energy-efficient machines and systems at the production sites, the installation of reactive power compensation equipment and the considerable investment in lighting, including the renovation of these systems, led to a slight reduction in electricity consumption. The use of new LED lamps has resulted in optimal lighting and lower thermal load, thus reducing power consumption and air conditioning costs. The investments made in the Omega / Swatch sections have had positive effects, improving the energy balance by replacing fossil fuels with heat pumps.

 

Waste management

The further optimized integration of production and cleaning processes into production resulted in a 13.1% reduction in the quantity of special waste (excluding watch batteries). This reduction in the quantity of special waste in turn led to a 6.8% reduction in the proportion of special waste recovered or recycled. Other industrial waste, such as paper, cardboard, plastics and electronic components, saw an increase of 11.2%.

 

Battery recycling

In the year under review, more than 8.2 tons of batteries were entrusted to authorized specialist companies for reprocessing, not including the disposal of expired batteries and the liquidation of end-of-series products at Renata. Renata is the only battery producer to operate its own button cell battery recycling facility (silver recovery). With an annual capacity of 250 million button cell battery for a production capacity of 26 tons of silver oxide, this facility demonstrates Renata’s strong contribution to the environment in a sustainable way, which is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Used button cell batteries are crushed in a crusher and their basic materials and particles are separated from each other. The silver oxide and other elements are then recovered in a special treatment process. The chemical solutions used are processed in a fully closed cyclic materials processing circuit and returned to the reactors.

 

Water management

The consumption of drinking water decreased by 6.7% compared to the previous year, while the consumption of non-drinking water and / or recycled industrial water increased by 20.2%. Special mention should be made regarding the reduction of waste water achieved by installing closed water circulation systems, by increasing the efficiency of water treatment plants, and by using rainwater recovery systems to obtain water for cooling and sanitary installations.

 

VOC (Volatile Organic Components) emission

Due to increased production, integration of new production plants and further internalization of production in the year under review, VOC consumption increased compared to the previous year, mainly due to the use of acetone, alcohol and gasoline as cleaning agents for produced components. Accordingly, corresponding VOC emissions increased by 8.1%. However, in the year under review, 1.7% more VOCs were recovered and / or recycled compared to the previous year thanks to the recovery systems for gasoline and other volatile solvents. A more substantial increase in VOC emissions was prevented by increased substitution of volatile substances by processes using aqueous solutions that do not contain solvents or contain less volatile substances.

ENERGY FROM SELF-GENERATED RENEWABLE SOLAR ENERGY AND HYDROPOWER PRODUCTION

General raw material sourcing

Environmental, ethical, and social criteria are an integral part of our sourcing policy, a reason that, only suppliers and sub-suppliers who fully comply with our clearly defined and contractually documented criteria regarding safety, environmental and socio-political aspects can be considered. This includes not only compliance with national and international laws, but also compliance with the OECD guidelines for sourcing of raw materials and components (OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and its Supplement on Gold) as well as Standard SA8000 (Social Accountability International) pertaining to responsible sourcing under the premises of fair and ethical working conditions, health protection and occupational safety, respect for human rights, including through the explicit prohibition of forced labor, child labor, or other similar forms of abuse, and in relationships with business partners, as well as inclusion of the supply chain, local development and additional social and environmentally relevant factors.

In addition, suppliers are obligated, of course, to fully adhere to the Swatch Group Quality Management internal guidelines, any ecological and legal regulations, and also the legal compliance related to products, particularly REACH (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). To ensure this, every supplier receives direct and secure access to the Swatch Group Quality Management conformity specifications for raw materials and substances. The specifications in the comprehensive database are updated on a regular basis. Swatch Group FEPS (Far East Procurement
Service) and Swatch Group Quality Management constantly check to ensure that suppliers really fulfil the conditions.

The supplier verification process is clearly defined. The FEPS determines which suppliers will be audited during a financial year, commissions an auditing company to carry out an audit in accordance with the requirements, and then analyzes its report. The suppliers are then given a rating. If their rating is insufficient or if they fail to comply with the requirements, corrective measures are imposed. If a supplier is not (or no longer) able to qualify, it is no longer considered. Given that only about 30 of the almost 200 qualified suppliers managed by the FEPS already cover 90% of deliveries, the number of suppliers monitored by the FEPS should be considered reasonable.

 

Organic raw material sourcing

In relation to organic raw material such as cotton, leather, wood, etc., not only are the many national and international laws respected (EU  995 /  2010 and EC  338 /  97, Lacey Act, CITES  Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, UICN Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature, FSC Forest Stewardship Council, PEFC Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, Timber Regulation, etc.), but also legal and not endangered materials which are determined by our specialists to be ethically critical are voluntarily eliminated. In this manner, wood from endangered and potentially endangered tree species is voluntarily eliminated, and only wood originating from sustainable cultivation and whose provenance, forestry, and CITES are declared and certified is used. In addition, Swatch  Group takes particular care to ensure that its supply of exotic leather originates from very few, clearly identified, controlled, and sustainable farming operations. The result is that only a small number of farms in the United States, which can guarantee the very strict US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the above-mentioned CITES guidelines, are considered.

 

Precious metal sourcing

Swatch Group has a clear sourcing policy also in regard to precious metals. They are only purchased from individually established long-term suppliers who can demonstrate that as well as complying legally and according to all the provisions financial market authority, they are at least certified members of the  Res ponsible Jewellery Council (RJC) or the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), and can guarantee that the precious metals delivered originate from impeccable sources and conflict-free  regions. The RJC norm is specifically aimed at the high jewelry and jewelry industry and includes the OECD guidelines for precious metal sourcing (OECD Due Diligence Guidance for  Responsible Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and its Supplement on Gold) as well as Standard SA8000 (Social  Accountability International) on responsible and ethical sourcing of material. Precious metal procurement processes have been continuously optimized for several years. There is still room for improvement, particularly in terms of ensuring full traceability of the supply chain.

Gold is sourced exclusively from mines in the United  States, Canada or Australia, where the highest legal standards are applied and the mines are operated under extremely strict conditions set by the authorities and continuously monitored by them. The supply chain, which is kept as short as possible, goes directly from the mine to the refinery and then to our own gold processing operation. Purchasing gold from other regions, where standards are less stringent than in the United States, Canada or Australia and where there is a risk of untraceable gold entering the supply chain, is clearly out of the question. This clear and simple procurement policy is also proving to be very effective.

In addition, the investments made in recent years in the Group’s foundry and refining facilities have made it possible to fully internalize processes and precious metals processing to ensure that the transformation of precious metals inventories, the production of alloys and their recycling are carried out in-house. After the preparation of alloys, extruded profiles and raw ingots are manufactured and then transformed into semi-finished or finished products, again using in-house production processes. Thus, Swatch Group itself controls the complete gold processing chain by subjecting its entire processing cycle to a clearly defined process. The Nivarox-FAR foundry plays a key role in this respect, as it processes all the Swatch Group’s gold stocks in a closed circuit and under strict control. The Nivarox-FAR foundry has the necessary federal authorizations both as a foundry and as a commercial assayer (sworn assayer), as well as the Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practice and Chain of Custody (RJC COP and CoC) certifications.

 

Diamond and gemstone sourcing

Diamonds are only purchased from the few suppliers who completely respect and implement the Kimberley Process certification system. Again, the supply chain is direct, with only a small number of known and qualified suppliers being selected. Certification guarantees that diamonds can be proven to originate from conflict-free regions and from legal trade. Countries, companies, and merchants who do not use this certification  system in its entirety are excluded from trade. In addition, only long-term partners who comply with the CIBJO (Confédération I nternationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie des diamants, perles, et pierres; The World Jewellery Confederation) guidelines as well as the Kimberley Process are considered, in order to exclude any quality and sourcing risks. Here again, each supplier party to the contract is, of course, required to submit a written declaration confirming that, in addition to the Kimberley  Process, it also fully accepts and respects the Code of Conduct established by Swatch Group, that it guarantees total transparency regarding the owners of the supplier company and / or the production company, and that it complies fully with the guidelines of the Responsible Jewellery Council and the SA8000 standard of the Social Accountability International, as described above in the general conditions on the general supply of materials. In the event of non-compliance with these regulations or doubts, expressed by any source of information, the supplier in question is immediately disqualified and can no longer be retained.

Social Policy

With extraordinary geopolitical tensions, such as the continuation of the “Yellow Vest” demonstrations in France for over a year and the demonstrations in Hong  Kong, to name a few, the year under review was complicated for the human resource management role. The latter saw sales of luxury goods, such as those produced by the watch industry, fall dramatically, affecting the level of economic activity in major cities.

Other tensions, such as the Sino-US trade dispute, which saw tariffs rise sharply, and the strength of the Swiss franc, also made results more difficult to achieve.

All these external factors compelled Swatch Group to manage its human resources meticulously in order to keep its personnel motivated and help them continue developing and acquiring new skills, while retaining talent in order to prepare confidently for the future.

 

Employment

All the external factors described above had an impact on market demand. Companies had to adapt their structures, while keeping all skills up to date in order to be ready when certain crises, such as the one in Hong Kong for example, come to an end.

Staff Development

Each period and economic cycle is an opportunity to identify skills and also to have a long-term vision of tomorrow’s professions. This prepares employees for a career change by acquiring new skillsets required for the future. 

 

Initial Professional Training

Despite the turbulent economy, Swatch  Group remained focused, tirelessly pursuing on-the-job training. In August 2019, all vacancies created by apprentices that completed their training were refilled with new apprentices. In the technical professions, all apprentices that attained certification and who wished to continue their professional activity in the company were offered permanent employment within the Group.

Swatch Group apprentices

For the sixth time, two watchmaking apprentices spent 11 weeks in Hong Kong in the summer, despite the unrest and street demonstrations. Alongside the discovery of technical watchmaking activities in the repair center, they experienced the highlights of Hong Kong first hand. They decided of their own accord not to return to their home countries despite the protests. Naturally, everything was in place for an emergency repatriation had the situation required it.

As in previous years, other language sessions were held: three French-speaking apprentices went to Berlin and three young German-speaking Swiss went to Paris where they spent six weeks with host families. They attended language schools and were allocated to Swatch boutiques to experience real-life situations in the field.

At the start of the school year in August 2019, Swatch Group had 492 apprentices in Switzerland in 32 different types of training, 83 of whom were in the most popular profession.

This means that the Group remains the most important trainer in the watch industry, both in terms of the number of young people in training and the number of graduates hired in its companies after completing their courses.

 

Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking Schools

The six Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking Schools still serve their purpose, because the needs in terms of repairs, advice and training in the various countries are very real. Also, since official watchmaking training is either non-existent or only slightly present in these countries, local training for current and future employees is necessary. This is always a great challenge, but one that has always been successfully met. 

Watchmakers at work

Professional Development

With the decade coming to an end, the company finds itself at a technological and societal turning point marked increasingly by digitization and digitalization.

This is reflected in the production companies by “Industry 4.0”, which supports the various engineers, technicians and producers in offering services that are ever more flexible, responsive and close to the customers’ demands and wishes. New skills, not yet acquired academically but developed in the workplace, are emerging. The challenge is important fo r the recruitment of future resources, as well as for supporting current employees in a process of learning new skills for new assignments.

The same applies to sales and retail, with the advent of e-commerce and “omnichannel” platforms. Retail and points of sale must reinvent themselves in order to provide more and faster service and to be closer to the end customer, who expects personal attention and unique experiences through visits to points of sale and the e-shop.

All these challenges must be viewed as chances to grow and to develop new opportunities for Swatch Group to increase its market share and consolidate its position in the watchmaking world.

 

Social Partnership and Working Conditions

In Switzerland, Swatch Group is in the midst of the implementation of the 2017–2021 Collective Labor Agreement. Its relations with its union partners are good. Dialog and collaboration are
based on trust and openness on both sides, which allows the company to look to the future with serenity. Swatch Group can count on a partner who shares its convictions and objectives to defend Swiss employment and to offer a maximum number of people opportunities to develop in ergonomically safe, and reliable working environments.

 

Statement on the Modern Slavery Act

Here you can download the Swatch Group's statement on its efforts against slavery and human trafficking, made in compliance with section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.

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