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IWC Schaffhausen - A Responsible and Transparent Strategy from a Leading Manufacturer of Luxury Watches

The heritage of IWC Schaffhausen is deeply rooted in the spirit of American pioneering and entrepreneurship. Florentine Ariosto Jones, a watchmaker and engineer from Boston, founded the International Watch Company in 1868. He drew upon the help of eminently qualified Swiss watchmakers, modern technology, and hydropower sourced from the nearby River Rhine to manufacture pocket watch movements of the highest quality. Today, the Rhine still flows past the company’s workshop in Schaffhausen and IWC is still working to pioneer the future of mechanical and luxury watchmaking in today’s world.

The world has undergone many changes over the 150 years since IWC’s founding. A growing awareness of the reality of climate change has led to demands for stronger adherence to the principles of sustainability and resource conservation. In an environment where consumers want to buy less goods, and expect these goods to last longer, IWC sees itself in an ideal position. A mechanical watch is an intrinsically sustainable product and the Swiss manufacturer is determined to prove that  its watches can tick forever if they are  well taken care of.  IWC maintains a special department of watchmakers and service technicians dedicated to the restoration and repair of every IWC vintage watch built since the company was founded in 1868; proving that wear and tear need not guarantee the discarding of a well-loved luxury watch.

The sustainability of a product can be achieved through various means, with an overall goal of eliminating both environmental and social impact. IWC is committed to honouring the inherent sustainability of its watches by making them responsibly. The company maintains a sustainable and transparent supply chain, further demonstrating its adherence to transparency through its membership in the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), while its main steel supplier is a founding member of Responsible Steel. These global standards organisations define a set of criteria that suppliers have to meet, to ensure ethical, social and environmental responsibility.

IWC is also driving sustainability across its collection and offerings with the recent addition of ‘TimberTex’ straps, a new style of watch strap made from a material composed of 80% natural plant fibres. IWC has also redesigned its packaging – making it a smaller, high quality leather travel pouch, with 90% less plastic than before, and 80% of the plastic now used having been recycled – to ensure a long-lasting product and to demonstrate that luxury does not equal excess.

Outside of its products, IWC is demonstrating its adherence to sustainable principles. The company has pledged to release annual sustainability reports and is the first Swiss luxury watch brand to incorporate the best-practice standards of the Global Reporting Initiative into its sustainability reporting. Additionally, IWC demonstrates its commitment to social aspects of sustainability through its client centric approach, but also through the care it provides its employees. The company invests in learning and development for its employees,  and supports them across key areas like well-being, health and safety at every level. IWC was awarded “Great Place to Work®” certification in 2019 and 2021 respectively – the first luxury watchmaker in Switzerland to ever receive this award – and is creating a long-term program to increase inclusion and diversity within the company.

A well-maintained IWC watch can tick forever. But forever is a long time and relies upon sustainable action today. Franziska Gsell, IWC’s CMO and Sustainability Committee Chair, is aware of this reality. “We take our responsibility towards future generations seriously. Besides, manufacturing a durable mechanical watch only makes sense if there is still a planet to wear it on tomorrow.” As part of its sustainability journey, the company is finalising a long-term sustainability strategy with ambitious targets to be revealed in July 2022. This forward-facing focus exemplifies IWC’s commitment to a sustainable future, with the company’s transparent and responsible measures demonstrating how a leading watchmaker can do its part to make such a future a reality.

The heritage of IWC Schaffhausen is deeply rooted in the spirit of American pioneering and entrepreneurship. Florentine Ariosto Jones, a watchmaker and engineer from Boston, founded the International Watch Company in 1868. He drew upon the help of eminently qualified Swiss watchmakers, modern technology, and hydropower sourced from the nearby River Rhine to manufacture pocket watch movements of the highest quality. Today, the Rhine still flows past the company’s workshop in Schaffhausen and IWC is still working to pioneer the future of mechanical and luxury watchmaking in today’s world.

The world has undergone many changes over the 150 years since IWC’s founding. A growing awareness of the reality of climate change has led to demands for stronger adherence to the principles of sustainability and resource conservation. In an environment where consumers want to buy less goods, and expect these goods to last longer, IWC sees itself in an ideal position. A mechanical watch is an intrinsically sustainable product and the Swiss manufacturer is determined to prove that  its watches can tick forever if they are  well taken care of.  IWC maintains a special department of watchmakers and service technicians dedicated to the restoration and repair of every IWC vintage watch built since the company was founded in 1868; proving that wear and tear need not guarantee the discarding of a well-loved luxury watch.

The sustainability of a product can be achieved through various means, with an overall goal of eliminating both environmental and social impact. IWC is committed to honouring the inherent sustainability of its watches by making them responsibly. The company maintains a sustainable and transparent supply chain, further demonstrating its adherence to transparency through its membership in the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), while its main steel supplier is a founding member of Responsible Steel. These global standards organisations define a set of criteria that suppliers have to meet, to ensure ethical, social and environmental responsibility.

IWC is also driving sustainability across its collection and offerings with the recent addition of ‘TimberTex’ straps, a new style of watch strap made from a material composed of 80% natural plant fibres. IWC has also redesigned its packaging – making it a smaller, high quality leather travel pouch, with 90% less plastic than before, and 80% of the plastic now used having been recycled – to ensure a long-lasting product and to demonstrate that luxury does not equal excess.

Outside of its products, IWC is demonstrating its adherence to sustainable principles. The company has pledged to release annual sustainability reports and is the first Swiss luxury watch brand to incorporate the best-practice standards of the Global Reporting Initiative into its sustainability reporting. Additionally, IWC demonstrates its commitment to social aspects of sustainability through its client centric approach, but also through the care it provides its employees. The company invests in learning and development for its employees,  and supports them across key areas like well-being, health and safety at every level. IWC was awarded “Great Place to Work®” certification in 2019 and 2021 respectively – the first luxury watchmaker in Switzerland to ever receive this award – and is creating a long-term program to increase inclusion and diversity within the company.

A well-maintained IWC watch can tick forever. But forever is a long time and relies upon sustainable action today. Franziska Gsell, IWC’s CMO and Sustainability Committee Chair, is aware of this reality. “We take our responsibility towards future generations seriously. Besides, manufacturing a durable mechanical watch only makes sense if there is still a planet to wear it on tomorrow.” As part of its sustainability journey, the company is finalising a long-term sustainability strategy with ambitious targets to be revealed in July 2022. This forward-facing focus exemplifies IWC’s commitment to a sustainable future, with the company’s transparent and responsible measures demonstrating how a leading watchmaker can do its part to make such a future a reality.

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IWC Schaffhausen - A Responsible and Transparent Strategy from a Leading Manufacturer of Luxury Watches

The heritage of IWC Schaffhausen is deeply rooted in the spirit of American pioneering and entrepreneurship. Florentine Ariosto Jones, a watchmaker and engineer from Boston, founded the International Watch Company in 1868. He drew upon the help of eminently qualified Swiss watchmakers, modern technology, and hydropower sourced from the nearby River Rhine to manufacture pocket watch movements of the highest quality. Today, the Rhine still flows past the company’s workshop in Schaffhausen and IWC is still working to pioneer the future of mechanical and luxury watchmaking in today’s world.

The world has undergone many changes over the 150 years since IWC’s founding. A growing awareness of the reality of climate change has led to demands for stronger adherence to the principles of sustainability and resource conservation. In an environment where consumers want to buy less goods, and expect these goods to last longer, IWC sees itself in an ideal position. A mechanical watch is an intrinsically sustainable product and the Swiss manufacturer is determined to prove that  its watches can tick forever if they are  well taken care of.  IWC maintains a special department of watchmakers and service technicians dedicated to the restoration and repair of every IWC vintage watch built since the company was founded in 1868; proving that wear and tear need not guarantee the discarding of a well-loved luxury watch.

The sustainability of a product can be achieved through various means, with an overall goal of eliminating both environmental and social impact. IWC is committed to honouring the inherent sustainability of its watches by making them responsibly. The company maintains a sustainable and transparent supply chain, further demonstrating its adherence to transparency through its membership in the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), while its main steel supplier is a founding member of Responsible Steel. These global standards organisations define a set of criteria that suppliers have to meet, to ensure ethical, social and environmental responsibility.

IWC is also driving sustainability across its collection and offerings with the recent addition of ‘TimberTex’ straps, a new style of watch strap made from a material composed of 80% natural plant fibres. IWC has also redesigned its packaging – making it a smaller, high quality leather travel pouch, with 90% less plastic than before, and 80% of the plastic now used having been recycled – to ensure a long-lasting product and to demonstrate that luxury does not equal excess.

Outside of its products, IWC is demonstrating its adherence to sustainable principles. The company has pledged to release annual sustainability reports and is the first Swiss luxury watch brand to incorporate the best-practice standards of the Global Reporting Initiative into its sustainability reporting. Additionally, IWC demonstrates its commitment to social aspects of sustainability through its client centric approach, but also through the care it provides its employees. The company invests in learning and development for its employees,  and supports them across key areas like well-being, health and safety at every level. IWC was awarded “Great Place to Work®” certification in 2019 and 2021 respectively – the first luxury watchmaker in Switzerland to ever receive this award – and is creating a long-term program to increase inclusion and diversity within the company.

A well-maintained IWC watch can tick forever. But forever is a long time and relies upon sustainable action today. Franziska Gsell, IWC’s CMO and Sustainability Committee Chair, is aware of this reality. “We take our responsibility towards future generations seriously. Besides, manufacturing a durable mechanical watch only makes sense if there is still a planet to wear it on tomorrow.” As part of its sustainability journey, the company is finalising a long-term sustainability strategy with ambitious targets to be revealed in July 2022. This forward-facing focus exemplifies IWC’s commitment to a sustainable future, with the company’s transparent and responsible measures demonstrating how a leading watchmaker can do its part to make such a future a reality.

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