Swarovski and World Water Day
A strong commitment to sustainable water use
Today, March 22 is World Water Day 2018, where the United Nations focuses the world’s attention on sustainable water use. The UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro first raised the issue of sustainable water in 1992. The UN General Assembly responded by declaring March 22 as an annual World Water Day. UN figures say 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water, which affects their health, education, and livelihoods. World Water Day 2018 highlights how damaged ecosystems change the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Swarovski has been committed to sustainable development for more than 120 years, and responsible use of water is a vital element of that commitment.
Swarovski and Water
Water has always been a leitmotiv for Swarovski. It was the abundance of water in the Austrian Alps that inspired company founder Daniel Swarovski to locate the family company in Tyrol in 1895. Since then, it has been fundamental to Swarovski’s tradition of sustainable development, including, 18 years ago, creating the Swarovski Waterschool.
ENGAGING WITH THE NEXT GENERATION
Swarovski Waterschools are committed to bringing young people together with the source of life. Educating children 8-18-years-old about sustainable water use and environmental awareness first began in Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park in 2000. Since then, the Swarovski Waterschool program has, together with ten prominent NGO partners, been extended to embrace India, China, Uganda, Brazil, the USA, and Thailand. The Waterschool program has trained 10,000 teachers globally and educated half a million children in 2,400 schools. The company has invested some €12 million to raise awareness of sustainable water use, and for targeted initiatives on water issues. The project recognizes children as natural message carriers to their broader communities as they return to their families and villages and talk about the importance of sustainable water use. Waterschool success stories illustrate that these young Water Ambassadors do indeed pass on knowledge concerning the importance of sustainable water use.
Swarovski Gemstones and Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability is a priority at Swarovski Gemstones as it builds on the company’s strong environmental track record throughout its operations. The Swarovski Gemstones Business became a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council in September 2015. And in preparation for the RJC’s independent audit, strengthened its Corporate Social Responsibility policies and improved key processes and systems, including its environmental management systems. Robust systems manage and reduce the environmental impacts of production, and the company makes every effort to ensure water and other natural resources are consumed efficiently.
Swarovski developed highly efficient processes to manage and clean water in the manufacturing operations. This includes a closed loop water recycling system for the main production site in Austria, which reduces the need to draw water from the public water supply. And since 2010, the company consistently recycles 68% of the water used annually in production across all the countries where it is active.