As a business, we are committed to building on our strong track record of social and environmental sustainability throughout our own operations and by working with Swarovski crystal suppliers.
At Swarovski we think in generations, not quarters. Our longstanding commitment to doing business in a way that respects people and the planet, combined with our trademark quality craftsmanship and pioneering spirit is what sets us apart. Corporate Social Responsibility is both an integral part of our heritage and an essential characteristic of Swarovski as a business. It is this that has helped set us apart from our competitors for over 120 years.
Our efforts center on four main principles: Create, Protect, Respect and Care which are embodied through the below selection of the variety of initiatives we as a company employ.
Swarovski has always been clear-sighted with regard to its sustainability goals; now, through consistent collective effort, we are seeing results.
The message has been evident for a long time: it is no longer acceptable to conduct business without regard for environmental impact. With this in mind, we set out to develop strategies to reduce Swarovski’s footprint on the planet. We had an early advantage, thanks to our founder Daniel Swarovski’s inspired decision to locate his headquarters in Wattens, high in the Austrian Alps, where the abundance of water provides the hydroelectricity that powers our machinery. Since then we have gone much further: today, we recycle 68% of the water we use in our manufacturing processes, and our determination has seen further important steps toward sustainability in other areas affecting global society. To achieve these, we have aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals:
Sustainability Circles (peer-learning programs that empower staff to improve the way they work by following environmentally-conscious practices) and the strategies that grow from these learnings provide the “corporate grassroots” route to achieving our goals. But it doesn’t end with merely the three obvious arenas—water, energy and waste. Swarovski’s membership of the Responsible Jewellery Council, among other certifications currently being worked on by our business units, is an overt commitment to responsible and ethical labor, and social and environmental practices at every step in the jewelry supply chain.
The human issues that concern our industry are an important element of the agenda: gender balance is being addressed via our support for Women’s Empowerment Principles—the initiative is subtitled “Equality Means business”, which says it all. Fair treatment of workers at our production sites and at those run by our external supply chain is monitored against the terms of our Supplier Code of Conduct, which is aligned with the UN’s Global Compact.
This sensibility is applied to Swarovski’s creative arena, too. “Conscious design” is another of our key objectives, with sustainable innovation a priority across the business. Swarovski promotes conscious design through responsible collections that use our crystals, produced to the highest social and environmental standards, together with Fair Trade metals.
Founded in 2013 to honor Swarovski founder Daniel Swarovski’s philanthropic spirit, the Swarovski Foundation supports charitable initiatives; works to foster culture and creativity; promotes wellbeing; and conserves and improves the natural environment. The Swarovski Foundation has ensured that, as Swarovski has grown as a business, Daniel’s vision of a greater role in care of the community has matched this stride for stride.
At Swarovski, we believe that it has never been more necessary, important and fundamental to the future of our planet than now to spread the message of water conservation. Swarovski aims to be recognized as a company fighting from the front for the correct management of the planet’s water resources and for bringing global awareness around the topic of water conservation and the need for sustainable water use through our ever expanding educational program.
With this notion at the forefront of our thinking and with the fundamental message and belief so ingrained in our company identity, Swarovski has begun promoting awareness and understanding of the ecological, economic, social and cultural issues around surrounding water conservation in the form of the creation of the Swarovski Waterschool.
The need for sustainable water has been at the forefront of Swarovski’s business philosophy since inception, with the manufacturing of the world renowned Swarovski crystal being set up on the banks of the River Wattenbach in the Austrian Alps to enable the generation of hydro-electric power in all our machinery. With the desire for sustainable water use so entrenched in the Swarovski DNA, the 2000 founding of the Swarovski Waterschool Project was an inevitable next step.
The Swarovski Waterschool initiative teaches children aged from eight to fifteen about the urgent need to conserve the earth’s dwindling water sources and encourages them to spread the message among their communities, particularly for those countries whose need for water conservation is of great importance.
In April 2016, Cirque du Soleil and Swarovski partnered up to debut a “sustainable fashion challenge”, with the aim of promoting sustainability in business. Fashion Business students at Montreal’s École supérieure de mode (ESM), part of ESG UQAM, worked in teams to re-imagine crystal-embellished costumes that have previously appeared in some of Cirque du Soleil’s most famous shows, and transform them into new magical objects using Swarovski crystals.
The above is just a brief snapshot of how Swarovski looks to highlight the need for and benefit of sustainable business across the globe through their work.
If you would like to discover more about how Swarovski promotes sustainability in business, you can read more about this in our Sustainability Report, which includes amongst other topics:
Our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility
How we create sustainable Swarovski crystal products
Swarovski’s commitment to water sustainability
Our responsible supply chain
Swarovski’s work in and care for the community