As a responsible business with manufacturing facilities worldwide, sustainable resource management is integral to Swarovski’s efforts to maintain its long-term ability to operate successfully. It continually seeks new opportunities to reduce energy consumption and lower emissions. For example, we take a proactive approach to managing water in manufacturing operations throughout the cutting, grinding and polishing stages of creating crystals. Our Central Water Circulation Systems, which is a closed-loop recycling process, reduce the need to draw water from the public water supply, and have been in operation since 1990. It means that 70% of the water we use is recycled.
Since 2010, Swarovski’s energy consumption has seen a 26% decline, and there has been a 56% decline in our Scope 1 carbon emissions. Furthermore, 33% of the energy we consume comes from renewable sources. And a consistent focus on waste reduction has enabled important breakthroughs, such as the recycling of 90% of the rare earths used in the polishing process.
Technical innovation has been part of Swarovski’s DNA since it was founded by Daniel Swarovski more than 120 years ago, and this pioneering spirit continues to set us apart from our competitors. Exemplary technical innovations include: the use of heat exchange technology to recover as much energy as possible. Today, 90% of the energy used for hot water is from the direct recovery of heat. Likewise, the use of ultra-violet degradation technology to treat organic solvent (a by-product of our crystal coating method) has brought enormous environmental benefits. This new process reduces water usage and, unlike standard incineration technology, it does not require the use of natural gas, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Finally, by using oxygen-burner technology in our glass-melting furnaces we have significantly reduced our consumption of natural gas. Overall, ongoing efforts to reduce our energy consumption and emissions at our crystal manufacturing facilities in Wattens cumulatively saved over 41,000MWh of energy in 2016.