IWC Schaffhausen: making a sustainable product, responsibly

At IWC Schaffhausen we combine precision engineering with exclusive design to produce finely crafted watches that will last for generations. Our product is inherently sustainable, and we take care to make our watches responsibly. In this, we do our part to work towards the UN SDGs, in particular ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ and ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’. 

IWC Schaffhausen is committed to transparency, and is the first Swiss luxury watchmaker to produce a sustainability report to Global Reporting Initiative Standards. This report, available at iwc.com, sets out our eight sustainability targets, including a commitment to biennial reporting. Our sustainability committee meets quarterly, and committee members – most of whom report directly to our CEO – take responsibility for implementing activities in their area to reach these targets.

 Integrating sustainability throughout our production process

IWC Schaffhausen watches are assembled by hand in Switzerland, in a newly built Manufacturing Center that consolidates movement part making, case making and movement assembly in one facility. Powered by renewable energy, the Center is truly state-of-the-art, technically and also in terms of its environmental and social impact. Green building aspects such as sensor-controlled sunshades, automatic lighting, rooftop solar panels and heat recovery from the production processes allow for optimal energy management. Designed to be an ideal place to work, the Manufacturing Center also has ergonomic workstations, abundant natural daylight, a canteen serving fresh, seasonal, local food; free fresh fruit daily, and charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as its own bus stop, to encourage low-emissions commuting.

In addition to working to have a positive social impact and to minimize the environmental impact of our activities, we take care to consciously manage our supply chain. All our suppliers of gold and diamonds are certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council, and so undergo an independent audit of their social and environmental impact every three years. We have worked with suppliers to help them understand this certification, and ended relationships with suppliers that have chosen not to become certified. IWC Schaffhausen is also certified, and has been a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2012.

 A heritage skillset

IWC Schaffhausen offers employees the opportunity to volunteer in the local community through activities organized with the Forest Stewardship Council. Globally, all employees are encouraged to sign up to use the “Be My Eyes” app, supporting visually impaired people through short video calls.

Our support for “Be My Eyes” is inspired by the skills of our watchmakers. Modern production technology is combined with a heritage skillset: in watchmaking, adjusting the escapement and aligning the balance spring so that it runs true and flat is a high-precision manual task that no machine can carry out to the same high quality standards as a trained watchmaker. IWC Schaffhausen keeps this craftsmanship alive, training new generations of watchmakers in the skills of previous centuries, and pursuing the opportunities offered by new technologies to continuously improve the impact of our activities and so contribute to a sustainable future for us all.