Since 1868, IWC has been a brand synonymous with haute horology that combines precision engineering with exclusive design. This legacy was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland when after the American Civil War, entrepreneur Florentine Ariosto Jones travelled from Boston to Switzerland to set up the first and only watchmaking company in northeastern Switzerland. IWC’s headquarters is now based in this historic building.
Florentine’s vision was to combine the pioneering excellence of the American system of mechanism with the skillful hand labour of the Swiss. This philosophy is behind IWC to this day: to imbue a passion for watchmaking, untiring enterprise and perfect craftsmanship into every innovative mechanical watch they produce.
A commitment to protecting the worlds climate and environment is central to IWC Schaffhausens corporate philosophy. They have been working steadily on reducing their carbon dioxide emissions, with impressive progress, and since summer 2007 IWC has been certified as a climate-neutral company. Alternative energy along with innovative production and building technologies has pushed down CO2 emissions by 90%. They also incentivise climate protection by rewarding members of their workforce that make an effort to actively contribute.
The journey began many years ago when the company needed an environmentally responsible solution to necessary expansion. Two new IWC buildings have been completed since 2003, yet despite the 6000 sq.m of additional surface area and significant production increases, the use of modern and ecologically sound technologies has kept energy consumption constant. The company now has many measures in place to optimise energy in its premises.
The company also has heat recovery systems in place, and uses residual heat from waste water in their sewers as an energy source. A combination of cooling and heat pumps are able to generate heat or cold alternately, or even simultaneously. A 60-metre exchange element integrated in the wastewater conduit extracts warmth from wastewater for heating purposes and conducts residual heat from production processes and the chilled ceilings into the sewage. Construction of the system, which is new for Switzerland and operates the whole year round, was subsidised by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. An additional system, which makes use of groundwater, provides an alternative means of heating and cooling the companys premises and production facilities. Since 2007, the companys electricity needs have been covered entirely by green hydroelectric energy and IWC has also installed a system that recycles rainwater to flush toilets.
IWC is concerned with documenting and reducing its CO2 emissions not only as regards its infrastructure but also down the entire value-added chain. Measures are in place to reduce CO2 emissions generated by suppliers, production sites, business trips and events. Business trips, for example, have been replaced with videoconferences wherever possible, and employees are obliged to archive business documentation electronically. IWC also makes voluntary payments to compensate for emissions that cannot be eliminated entirely. The funds generated are channelled into potentially beneficial environmental projects in developing and emerging nations.
IWC is a member of the international Climate Group, developed a scheme that fosters environmental awareness among its employees and rewards those who make individual efforts to reduce their own CO2 footprint. Financial incentives are offered to encourage employees to use public transport, buy cars with lower CO2 emissions and to use alternative energy sources and energy saving technologies within their homes. Employees are able to calculate their personal CO2 emissions on the IWC intranet and even compensate for excessive use through payments to a climate-related project.
IWC supports selected institutions worldwide helping children and adolescents growing up in difficult circumstances, such as the Laureus Foundation. They have long-term established partnerships with organisations working against climate change and environmental damage, including the Cousteau Society and the Charles Darwin Foundation. An ambassador for good causes, dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment and with a pioneering spirit in the company’s blood, IWC brings the tradition of swiss craftsmanship and their own 140-year heritage firmly into the 21st century.
IWC was ranked the no.1 watchmaking company and fourth best company overall in social matters in Switzerland by Bilanz magazine .
For more details please visit http://www.iwc.com/en/.