Environmental responsibility and sustainability are more important than ever in today’s modern world. Companies need to evolve and adapt their methods to suit a constantly changing landscape of responsibility.
The easiest way to project a consumer-friendly image is by adopting a comprehensive set of values and acting upon those values. Chopard is an industry leader in sustainability, and its practices are an excellent example of how a company can affordably structure its businesses in environmentally responsible ways.
Chopard’s Approach to Social Responsibility
Chopard uses the following term to express its dedication to social responsibility: “The Journey to Sustainable Luxury.” By analyzing its corporate practices on all levels, it has created an approach to consumer responsibility that’s anything but performative. It uses concrete goals to further its sustainability efforts. Most importantly, sustainability is approached as an achievable goal rather than a financial hindrance. This radical structuring of Chopard’s sustainability efforts is evident in every aspect of the company.
Chopard’s materials are sourced from around the world. The company has long-term relationships with their suppliers and works hand in hand to improve its product’s sustainability criteria. They also constantly research innovative and greener solutions throughout their creation process.
The company has also adopted a Code of Conduct, which must be adhered to by all of Chopard’s business partners and suppliers. The code comprehensively adheres to human rights standards, labor standards, environmental protection and aims to eliminate the use of suppliers with exploitative or harmful business practices.
The company also uses sustainable practices regarding the materials themselves. Indeed, Chopard’s in-house foundry manufactures all the used materials and recycles gold where possible, therefore limiting the company’s need for freshly mined gold. When they do use freshly mined gold, they support only responsible artisanal gold miners – another simple policy that reduces exploitation.
When it comes to the sourcing of diamonds, the company adheres to the Kimberly Process system in order to eliminate conflict diamonds from its supply chain. In addition, all diamond suppliers are required to use a self-regulation initiative preventing them from buying or selling conflict diamonds.
Throughout the years, Chopard has featured multiple collections featuring responsibly mined gemstones only. In 2015, they revealed a Green Carpet collection, which sourced opals from a family-owned, responsible mining company. In 2016, they unveiled a collection of Green Carpet High Jewelry, which used responsibly sourced emeralds. Chopard’s initiative regarding responsibly mined gemstones will hopefully help set a global sustainable standard in gemstone mining, a standard which doesn’t yet exist.
Chopard is also known for its comprehensive apprenticeship programs and provides educational opportunities around the world. Since creating their first jewellery-training unit in Meyrin in 1980, they’ve been training units in a large variety of different crafts. Their most recent effort is a dedicated watchmaking school opened in Fleurier in 2008.
Because Chopard is a family-owned company, responsible employee management is an incredibly important aspect of their business practices. Their employee fidelity rate rises every year because of the company’s tireless commitment to providing a positive work environment and its dedication to involving the new generations in jewellery and watch creation.
The company goes above and beyond with its facility sustainability. Not only do all accommodations adhere to legislative requirements but the company is committed to surpassing regulation standards.
In 2010, Chopard’s head office in Geneva inaugurated its first building constructed to adhere to the Swiss eco standard Minergie. This building is energy efficient and consumes very few resources. Cooled air from the facility can be reused by the air conditioning system and rainwater collectors allow for yearlong garden irrigation.
In December 2013, the Ebauches building in Fleurier was also given the Minergie label making it the largest building in the Canton of Neuchâtel to be renovated using such standards. The roof was covered with solar panels, electrical installations were revised and the ground floor was insulated therefore minimizing the need for energy consumption. On top of that, the company monitors its generated waste and emissions and uses the data to improve their efficiency over time.
Employees favor video conferencing over business travels and are encouraged to use sustainable mobility such as carpooling. The company is also constantly refining and improving its packaging materials. It uses ecologically balanced watches and jewellery cases that conform to environmentally friendly criteria as well as FSC certified paper for wrappings and shopping bags.
Partnerships and Philanthropic Commitments
Chopard believes that partnerships are the best way to amplify positive changes in the world. The company is dedicated to building alliances with partners sharing similar values, as well as supporting key causes allowing to increase visibility and share environmentally friendly practices.
The company is a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, which reinforces customer confidence in the jewellery industry through the promotion of ethical business practices. It’s an incredibly important organization, especially at a time when exploitative business practices have shaken consumer confidence in the jewellery industry. Chopard also supports the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), an independent, worldwide organization that advocates for the well being of mining communities all over the world. All of Chopard’s mined resources come from mining companies that adhere to standards set by the ARM.
Lessons for Other Businesses
Chopard’s approach to sustainability has created a model that other businesses can easily follow. Environmental responsibility in business can be achieved by following these simple steps:
1. Outline a code of conduct for suppliers to follow regarding the ethical attainment of their supplies.
2. Recycle and reuse supplies wherever possible to reduce your overall resource consumption. This will also save your business money.
3. Invest in the training of your employees.
4. Create a positive work environment and encourage employees to use sustainable environmental practices in their day-to-day lives.
5. Invest in sustainable facilities to save enormous amounts of money on energy consumption in the long run.
6. Monitor your company’s resource consumption and constantly find new ways to minimize it.
7. Go paperless where possible, and use recycled paper when necessary. 8. Partner with organizations that encourage corporate responsibility and adhere to their standards.
These are easy steps to increase sustainability and corporate responsibility in all aspects of your business. Chopard is an industry leader in sustainability, and their practices are a wonderful model for other businesses to follow. But none of Chopard’s practices are too difficult to emulate now that they have done the heavy lifting of pioneering sustainable business practices.