Any measurable change within a business has to start at the very top, and then work its way down. That’s why having a leader committed to sustainability is so important to ensure a more positive impact. This is what our judging panel was looking for when they selected the winner in the Business Leader of the Year category at the Positive Luxury Awards, Nadja Swarovski.
Nadja, Executive Board Member and Head of Branding and Sustainability Chairperson of Atelier Swarovski and Swarovski Foundation, was chosen in recognition of her commitment to sustainability across the business and its foundations.
She has committed the brand to collaboration through global initiatives like the UN Global Compact, the Women’s Empowerment Principles, and the World Economic Forum’s Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership, as well as working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Alyssa Auberger, Partner and Global Chair of Consumer Goods & Retail Industry Group at Baker McKenzie, presented Nadja’s husband, Rupert Adams, with the Award as she was unable to attend the event.
“It was an honour to be nominated for this award in the esteemed company of Hanneli Rupert, Janice Lao and our Atelier Swarovski creative collaborator, Stephen Webster, and it was an incredible privilege to be named ‘Business Leader of the Year’,” Nadja later said of her win. “I am truly grateful to be in a position where I can have positive impact on my family business and the wider industry. Most importantly it has been my team, who have walked the talk on a daily basis, as well as our industry partners – in particular Positive Luxury – who fuel the motivation to create a better world every single day.”
This year, Swarovski celebrated their 125th anniversary. When Nadja’s great grandfather established the company in the Austrian Alps, he laid out the principles of responsibility, innovation, creativity and collaboration that continue to define the brand. “Today that legacy lives on in Swarovski’s commitments to Conscious Luxury within Fashion, Jewellery and Interiors; our Positive Production in Austria, Thailand, Vietnam and India; and our international Sustainability programs within the organization,” Nadja added. “It also flows through the work of the Swarovski Foundation, which supports institutions globally focusing on the environment, education and human empowerment, and of the Swarovski Waterschool which is active in five continents and has reached over half a million young people.”
Earlier this year, Swarovski also unveiled their One X One project during New York Fashion Week in partnership with the UN and Slow Factory Foundation. This initiative pairs science innovators and sustainable startups with fashion designers like Mara Hoffman and Phillip Lim to create exciting new materials and the brand will reveal the first results of the program in September. This program sits alongside Swarovski’s ongoing partnerships with the UN Global Compact and the UN Women’s Empowerment Program, and within their wider commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The work the brand does in the context of these projects inspires their implementation of more sustainable practices within their own organisation and helps them create lasting positive change.
“I have huge admiration for Diana Verde Nieto and Karen Hanton MBE for their incredible work and positive contributions to making this world a better place,” Nadja said. “Positive Luxury and Swarovski share common values of the appreciation of and the quest to protect people and planet, while creating beautiful products that add meaning to people’s lives.”
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Written by - Tara MacInnis