Climate Week NYC: Swarovski’s Effort To Combat Climate Change
Swarovski is headquartered in the Tyrol region of the Austrian Alps, an area that is experiencing ongoing glacial retreat, as well as declining snowfall during the ski season. The diminishing ice melt has even been documented by the company’s staff, who have personally trekked up-mountain to record it on time-lapse cameras, as part of the Extreme Ice Survey Project.
Swarovski has good reason to care deeply about this situation, given that a third of the energy that powers its manufacturing operation is derived from renewables, particularly hydro-electricity. Ultimately, reduced water means reduced power, which in turn results in a downturn in manufacturing capability. The challenges extend beyond Europe: In Swarovski’s jewelry-making facility in Thailand too much water can disrupt the operations and the lives of our colleagues in Pune, India, suffers ever-scarcer water supplies.
This year’s Climate Week NYC, which takes place from September 18–24 alongside the UN General Assembly, brings together influential leaders from business, economic think tanks, governments, academic institutions, the international arts scene, and civil society. They meet to discuss how they are embracing the opportunities offered by the “clean economy”; what they are doing to support the Paris Agreement; and how they are promoting the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals. Climate Week NYC is a wake-up call to world leaders and the global media, a reminder of the urgent need to act in concert to halt climate change.
To date, Swarovski’s commitment to playing an active part in preventing climate change has seen a 59% reduction in its carbon emissions and a 26% drop in energy consumption since 2010, due in part, to a focus on energy efficiency, and the company is on course to improve on this. Waste heat from the crystal production process is collected and used as domestic heating in the nearby village of Wattens; older buildings are being replaced with highly insulated, low-energy buildings; and older machinery is being removed from production and substituted by new energy-efficient alternatives. The future of fashion urgently needs to be climate friendly for the good of all, and Swarovski is very focused on achieving this.