Panerai – Sustainable Watchmaking Practices

by Sameera Gamage
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With climate change becoming an ever-increasing crisis, the world’s watch manufacturers are doing their part to create sustainable approaches to manufacturing while also taking on sustainable projects to help the environment. Panerai is one of the leading brands in using sustainable practices in the realm of watchmaking, with the brand using a sustainable approach to not only its internal operations but also it’s external outreach and educational initiatives. 

Panerai has a framework of sustainable practices and activities in place, called the Panerai Ecologico. The Panerai Ecologico is broken down into five pillars; Performance in real estate, Processes, Products, Partnerships, and People. Panerai is continuously working to grow and expand in each of these pillars, to be able to better care for the environment. 

While most watch brands dive into sustainable practices for creating the timepieces only, Panerai goes a step further by making the building that houses the brand’s operations through sustainable methods. The modern building is built to rigorous standards which aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero. This is done by implementing different recycling processes and also through the intelligent use of renewable resources such as rainwater. 

Approximately 225,000 litres of rainwater is saved each year from the building. Panerai also uses 100% hydroelectric electricity to power the manufacturing process. The building also houses solar panels which contribute to 15% of the heating system output. The air compression machines provide recycled energy to heat water as well. Another great sustainable practice within the building is the use of geothermal sensors, of which 36 have been installed, as well as a heat pump to keep the internal temperature of the building balanced without using electricity, which ultimately avoids burning 65,000 liters of fuel a year! 

Panerai is also at the forefront of using sustainable materials in the watches they make. The brand has been a member of RJC since 2012 and (COP) code of practice certified since 2014. One of the latest materials created by the brand is eSteel™. This material is made from up to 95% of pre-consumer recycled steel scraps which comes from different industries including the Swiss watchmaking industry. 

Panerai has joined the Watches & Jewellery initiative 2030. This is a joint project between Cartier and Kering in conjunction with the Responsible Jewellery Council. The project aims to have the members commit to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. The members need to keep their reductions consistent with the 1.5°C pathway by 2030 and aim to achieve Net Zero by 2050. 

Added to this, the brands that will be participating in the Watches & Jewellery initiative 2030 are expected to implement 100% renewable energy across all their operations by 2025. 

Panerai has also created a timepiece that pushes the boundaries of recyclability in the watch industry. The brand in 2021 released the Panerai concept watch eLAB-ID™. Panerai did not try to monopolise the components, rather they shared all the knowledge with the rest of the watch industry. The brand states Panerai shared information concerning its suppliers and collaborators, recognizing the entire watch industry must have access to the same materials to broaden opportunities for sustainable watchmaking.

Panerai has partnered with IOC-UNESCO – the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO to create an Ocean Literacy Program, which forms a component of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). Panerai has a two-year partnership with IOC-UNESCO, in which they will focus on education, citizen science, and industry involvement. 

2030). Francesca Santoro, Program Specialist for the IOC states that “Ocean Literacy is more than informing the public. It empowers them to be active agents of change and to feel capable of translating knowledge into action. Companies like Panerai can have a big impact on the environment both by changing the way they produce goods but also by convincing the public of the importance of these goals.”

A brand creating waves in the sustainability sector of the watchmaking industry, Panerai is a prime example of a brand staying true to its tradition, heritage, and iconic designs all the while becoming more environmentally friendly. The brand states that by 2025, 30% of the watches in the brand’s overall collection will be designed and produced using recycled materials. 

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