The Swatch Group Ltd
2501 Biel / Bienne
- 2016 Global CR RepTrak 100 By Reputation Institute #47
- 2016 Global RepTrak 100 By Reputation Institute #53
President of the Executive Group
Nick Hayek Jr.
Swatch Group does not hold any awards at the moment.
Report created by Kavita Kripalani
The Swatch Group AG engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of finished watches, jewelry, watch movements, and components. It operates through the Watches & Jewelry, and Electronic Systems segments.
The Watches & Jewelry segment is involved in the designs, production, and marketing of watches and jewelry. The Electronic Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells electronic components; and sports timing activities.
The company was founded by Nicolas Georges Hayek in 1983 and is headquartered in Biel, Switzerland.
Company Sustainability Activity
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, Swatch Group must all share in taking care of the environment as well as paying the utmost attention to safety in general. These guiding principles are a part of the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) values on which Swatch Group all place the greatest importance.
Swatch Group is fully aware of its responsibility to protect life, promote quality of life, ensure safety and preserve health as well as the environment. And Swatch Group undertakes, at all levels of the company, to do everything in its power to meet this responsibility.
The company, its immediate surroundings, and the environment are the object of its 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 its 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.
- Swatch’s Omega factory building structure represents a savings potential of 30 tons of CO2 per year
- 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.
- The “1983” collection recently introduced bio-sourced materials extracted from the seeds of the castor plant. All components naturally meet the high Swiss Made quality requirements that Swatch places on its products. Made of paper foam, the material consists of an innovative mix based on potato and tapioca starch. As a result, the packaging produced with the injection molding process is fully biodegradable and can be recycled with paper waste or even composted right at home.
- The goal 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 by 8% by 2020.
- 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%.
- 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 2019 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 55%.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
United Nations SDGs Compliance
The Impakter Index team aligns current company-wide sustainability initiatives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the following section.
- The reduction of wastewater achieved by installing closed water circulation systems, increasing the efficiency of water treatment plants and using rainwater recovery systems to obtain water for cooling and sanitary installations.
- 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, its various power generation facilities produced approximately 1600 MWh.
- The energy produced by their 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.
- Energy efficiency should be increased by a total of 8% up to and including 2020. In the first six years after the implementation of the new program, the increase in energy efficiency has exceeded the set target.
- Already in 1990, Swatch Group supported the 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 appeals and can still be purchased today, stems from this period. With this, its early commitment to climate protection remains ever-present and motivates Swatch Group to continue its contribution to climate protection. Since the start of a new program, CO2 emissions have been reduced by a total of 2951 tons.
Secondary SDGs: 3
- The safety and health of company employees as well as its customers worldwide, along with its environment, receive its fullest attention. Its guidelines for both direct and indirect sourcing, production, distribution and also for use of its products comply not only with the strictest international laws and directives but also with its own very high standards, which Swatch Group also constantly upgrade and improve. In this respect, Swatch Group has never stopped learning, and this leads the company to engage in continuous innovation and new investments.
The company has minimal targets and levels of progress and implicitly aligns with a few SDGs. Their sustainability report is extremely vague and lacks substantive data. In fact, the company seems to be justifying not having a “detailed report”, stating that “actions speak louder than words”.
However, the company’s actions toward sustainability are not particularly bold either. Furthermore, this is not a good reason to get out of not having a detailed sustainability report and rather makes one question if the company is taking sustainability and CSR issues seriously enough.
The company has some certificates, few listings, and no awards. The company’s transparency is weak.
The most innovative initiative the company has made is their 1983 Bio-Reloaded lineup, which appears to be a legitimate effort at bio-sourcing and sustainable packaging. However, more data is needed to measure how sustainable this effort actually is.
This company has been rated a D.
Analyst Outlook: Neutral
The company should set more specific sustainability targets, and indeed, must show detailed information supporting their progress and compliance with the UN SDGs. Furthermore, their lack of certifications, awards, and listings do not support the company’s initiatives and strategies.
- SWATCH, since its beginning, has been closely associated with the use of plastic in its watch production. For the 1983 Bio-Reloaded lineup, SWATCH has reimagined its signature material by developing a new type of plastic that mimics its conventional look and feel, but is entirely bio-sourced, primarily from the seeds of castor plants. Even the packaging of these watches is fully organic; it’s a PaperFoam compound built from industrial starch and natural fibers, which makes it biodegradable and home-compostable. It can even be recycled with paper products.
- The company is dabbling in new battery and car technologies.