Swarovski Waterschool Project
Daniel Swarovski set an early precedent by putting sustainability at the heart of Swarovski’s business philosophy back in 1895. Recognizing that water was crucial to the manufacture of crystal, he moved his operation to the village of Wattens in Tyrol, on the banks of the River Wattenbach in the Austrian Alps. The access to abundant water supplies enabled hydro-electricity to be generated to power his machinery.
Respect for the environment soon became ingrained in the company’s culture, and it was a natural next step to set up the philanthropic Swarovski Waterschool program in 2000. This initiative teaches children aged eight to fifteen about the urgent need to conserve the earth’s dwindling water sources, which are so crucial to our survival, and encourages them to spread the message among their communities.
The first educational program was Swarovski Waterschool Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria. It was such a success that it expanded to some of the world’s most important river networks: India’s unique wetland of great biodiversity, Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, was set up in 2006. There followed three areas along China’s Yangtze in 2008. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth, joined in 2009. Swarovski also set up a Waterschool program in Brazil’s northern state, Pará, in 2014, and there are projects underway in Thailand and the United States, too.
Today, working with eight NGO partners on the ground at each of the Swarovski Waterschools in seven countries, 9,000 teachers have been trained in the ecology of water, and 270,000 children from 2,100 schools have participated. They are all informal ambassadors for the Waterschool, spreading the message of the need for water conservation among their communities.
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