It feels like ages ago when Panerai started dipping it’s toes into sustainable watching making by creating eco-friendly recycled titanium watches, straps and watch boxes from recycled plastics, as well as a Manufacture in Neufchâtel that boast numerous energy saving and sustainability features built in.
We like to say that Panerai is woven into the vast oceans and seas around the world, so it is only fitting that they work tirelessly to help save and give back as well as lower the carbon footprint the brand has.
With so many changes around the world, Panerai has expanded its efforts in many ways and hopes to set the tone for the environmentally conscious practices by watchmakers around the world.
It all starts from the ground up at the building that houses Panerai operations. This modern building is aiming to reduce its carbon dioxide footprint emissions to zero by implementing several recycling process and the intelligent use of renewable resources like reusing rainwater and hydroelectric to power the manufacturing process.
The efforts don’t stop there, they are taking the energy that is produced by the air compression machines to provide energy to heat the water at the manufacture. Energy from the hydroelectric setup is supplemented with solar panels that are tied into a system that keeps the internal temperature of the facility balanced without using any outside electricity.
As a member of the RJC since 2012 and certified since 2014, Panerai spearheading and forging ingenious materials and processes to use with their watches such as eSteel which is the next-generation metal obtained from pre-consumer recycled steel scraps. We are not talking about a small amount of recycled materials. It is up to 95% recycled steel from all types of industries but most notably from other Swiss Watch making companies.
The next step is joining the Watches and Jewelry Initiative 2030, which is a project launched by Cartier and Kering in cooperation with the Responsible Jewelry Council to develop shared sustainability objectives for global watch and jewelry brands.
Members of this initiative have committed to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, keeping these reductions consistent with the 1.5 C pathway by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. Panerai and other major brands are looking to push towards 100% renewable energy powered operations by 2025.
In 2021 Panerai took the sustainable watch making to the next level with the concept eLab-ID. Pushing the limits is something that the brand is very familiar with and this pieces exemplifies that push. Instead of monopolizing on the details and methods used to create the eLAB-ID components, Panerai shared the information about its suppliers and collaborators realizing that with this knowledge they can expedite the move towards this sustainability. Panerai is hoping by 2025 at least 30% of the collection will be designed and produced with recycled materials.
We can’t forget the sea and all the beauty that has lent itself to so many Panerai designs. Because of this legacy the brand has partnered up with IOC-UNESCO, the intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, to develop the Ocean literacy Program. This program is a component of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
The two year collaboration will focus on the education, science, and industry involvement. To launch this worldwide effort, Panerai took the campaign to 100 universities around the world to enlighten students on how a luxury brand such as Panerai can be a force for good for the planet thanks to its serious commitment towards sustainability.
When the recycled models first came out a few years back, most of the luxury watch collectors and Panerai faithful believed it to be just a fad that would eventually disappear and not have a place within the brand. Today, we can see that the brand doubled down on all aspects pushing forward and continued to put major efforts into the reduction of its carbon footprint as well as continue to innovate with watch making materials.
It is no longer a novelty, it has become a way of life for the brand. Love it or hate it, they have made a huge mark and hopefully pushed a change within the industry for the better. The question is, how many more companies will slowly follow suit?