LONDON — Swarovski has been reducing, renewing and recycling more than ever, according to its latest sustainability report, which is set to be released Wednesday.
According to the report, some 35 percent of the company’s energy came from renewable sources in 2018, while 76 percent of total water demand was met with recycled water. The company reported a 29 percent drop in total energy consumption and a 56 percent reduction in scope 1 GHG emissions since 2010 across its manufacturing and production locations.
Those numbers are the fruit of Swarovski’s refreshed sustainability strategy, unveiled in 2017.
The company said its five strategic priorities are women’s empowerment; water stewardship; fair partnerships; conscious design, and sustainable innovation, and is looking to improve “social and environmental governance and systems” across its business units, production sites and external supply chain.
“By working across our value chain, we strive to remain true to our founder Daniel Swarovski’s vision of a responsible company that not only has its employees’ well-being at heart, but also that of the environment and society as a whole,” said the report.
On gender equality, the company has partnered with Business for Social Responsibility to explore the role of women in jewelry supply chains and the challenges they face. Some 77 percent of Swarovski employees are women, and 40 percent of senior managers in Swarovski’s crystal business are women, the report said.
The brand’s conscious design program has provided designers and design schools with more than six million upcycled crystals, and the Swarovski Waterschool has educated half-a-million young people across 24,000 schools worldwide.
The report also points to Swarovski’s work in urging creative talent to think sustainably. Designers Sander Lak of Sies Marjan and Kevin Germanier are two examples. Swarovski has supported Germanier through its upcycled crystal program since his first graduate collection at Central Saint Martins, and continues to support him during fashion week presentations.
“I am challenging opinion about what sustainable fashion should look like,” said Germanier in the report. “You can still create glamorous, feminine and sexy collections, you just need to be smart about decision-making.”
Swarovski has also supported about 43,200 people across 50 charities in 31 countries since 2013, and has partnered with global initiatives such as the U.N. Global Compact, the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the World Economic Forum’s Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership. It has also been working with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals initiative.
Looking ahead, Swarovski said it is committed to offering conscious luxury, producing crystals, creating stones, genuine gemstones and jewelry that is responsibly sourced and crafted with care. In May, Penélope Cruz wore a jewelry set showcasing the biggest Swarovski-created diamonds to ever appear on a Cannes Film Festival red carpet.
“We are trying to drive positive change in our own company and more widely within the industry. We call this conscious luxury, a new way of doing business that puts compassion and sustainability at its heart,” said Nadja Swarovski.
She is the great-great-granddaughter of company founder Daniel Swarovski and the first female member of the Swarovski executive board, leading the global brand strategy and communications of the business, as well as partnership and collaborations with talents from various fields.
Earlier this month, Swarovksi was given the title of honorary doctorate by the University of the Arts London, for outstanding contribution to the field of jewelry, at Central Saint Martins graduation ceremony held at the Royal Festival Hall.
“It has been a true privilege to collaborate with UAL for almost two decades and to witness the incredible work it undertakes nurturing global talent, guiding young creative minds, and shaping future leaders in the creative industries and business, and I am humbled by this honor,” she said.
The company has been partnering with Central Saint Martins for more than 17 years, providing crystals to students to incorporate into their creative designs. In 2011, it launched a bursary program for one B.A. Fashion student and one jewelry design student a year.
Last April, Swarovski also started an innovative program with Saint Martins, aiming to embed sustainability within the creative curriculum. Earlier this year, Swarovski was awarded the Social Impact in Sustainability Award in New York by another fashion academy, the Fashion Institute of Technology.