By IFAB MEDIA - NEWS BUREAU - April 14, 2023 | 17 10 minutes read
As a family-run Maison driven by a long-term vision, sustainability has always been a core value for Chopard.
This announcement builds on the existing Lucent Steel– which was launched in 2019 with the iconic Alpine Eagle watch, and made of 70 percent recycled steel – marking a key next step in a multi-year project towards more responsible steel:
This initiative will allow Chopard to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions related to steel, according to key figures from the ISSF (International Stainless Steel Forum). Shifting from standard 50 percent recycled steel content to 80 percent will cut emissions linked to production by 30 percent. At 90 percent recycled steel this figure increases to 40 percent.
Karl-Friedrich & Caroline Scheufele with Julia Roberts
“Chopard is committed to a long-term process of responsible sourcing of the raw materials that make our business possible. We are proud of the work we have accomplished in just ten years. Through our ethical gold sourcing, which began progressively in 2013 with the goal of using 100 percent ethical gold in our workshops by 2018, followed today by our commitment to 80 percent recycled steel, we are approaching the ideal of ensuring the production of fully responsible watches and jewellery.” explains Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.
Rolling out Lucent Steel for all steel watches is a logical next step for Chopard in its ambition to source more sustainable materials and pursue its Journey to Sustainable Luxury, an ambitious long-term commitment dedicated to making a positive difference in the luxury industry. It was launched in 2013 with the first Green Carpet Collection creations, and led the Maison in its pioneering work to achieve 100 percent ethical gold in 2018.
Chopard Lucent Steel
Chopard’s quest for sustainability is in no way detrimental to the exceptional quality or properties of the materials composing its timepieces. Chopard Lucent Steel is made using high-quality industrial scraps from Swiss watchmakers, along with high-grade steel from the medical, aerospace and automotive industries.
The unique re-smelting process which creates Chopard Lucent Steel endows it with three unique characteristics:
Perfecting the composition and manufacture of a steel with these unique properties was the result of more than four years of research and development, as well as work with suppliers to secure enough volume of high-quality recycled steel to roll out Lucent Steel across all Chopard collections.
A local, circular manufacturing loop
Lucent Steel stems from Chopard’s creation of a local, circular manufacturing loop. All Chopard suppliers for recycled steel are based within 1000km of its manufacturing unit, either in Switzerland or its neighbouring countries of Austria, France, Germany and Italy, reducing the need for transportation emissions.
Chopard’s main suppliers are ‘voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl’, a subsidiary of the globally leading steel and technology group voestalpine in Austria, and the Swiss company ‘PX Precimet’. The Maison is also collaborating with the innovative Swiss company ‘Panatere’, which is actively working to develop a solar energy metal process.
In addition, the scraps resulting from Chopard’s manufacturing process are collected and recycled into new high-quality steel by its suppliers. This circular process limits the extraction of raw materials without compromising the quality integral to all the Maison’s activities.
“The challenges of sourcing steel are totally different to those we have encountered with gold. That is part of the beauty of our Journey to Sustainable Luxury: we have one goal, but many, very different ways of getting there. While gold led us to focus on the working conditions of artisanal miners, steel has been an opportunity for us to tackle the impact of our products in terms of carbon footprint.” says Chopard Co-President and Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele.
Joining Climate Group’s SteelZero and working with the industry
To endorse its commitment, Chopard has become the first luxury Maison to join Climate Group’s SteelZero initiative in order to work with the industry to speed up the transition to a net zero steel.
SteelZero members use their collective purchasing power and influence to send a strong demand signal to shift global markets and policies towards responsible production and sourcing of steel.
Chopard is proud to be the first watchmaker to take part in this initiative. Though the amount of steel the watchmaking industry uses is relatively small compared to other industries, it is nevertheless a significant material by volume used both in timepieces and in the watchmaking industry. As a result, the Maison is determined to reduce the impact connected with its use of steel, just as it is doing with gold.
“Chopard is our first SteelZero member from the watch and jewellery sector. This marks an important moment not just for SteelZero but for the wider global efforts to decarbonise steel. By committing to SteelZero, Chopard is ensuring its customers start to think about the carbon emissions linked to the items that they wear on their wrists. We need the watches of our future to be made using responsibly produced steel – this demonstration of leadership is a powerful signal to drive demand for net zero steel and ultimately cut the carbon emissions linked to steelmaking.” commented Jen Carson, Head of Industry at Climate Group
A long-term and solid commitment to a more sustainable luxury
With its commitment to achieving 90 percent recycled steel in all its watches by 2025, Chopard marks yet another landmark step along its path towards true sustainability:
2010: On the eve of its 150th anniversary, the Maison concludes a three-year partnership with the WWF “Tigers Alive Initiative”, a conservation project aimed at protecting tigers from extinction.
2010: Chopard decides to join forces of its industry peers in promoting responsible business practices and becomes a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), a non-profit organisation promoting responsible business conduct from mine to retail.
2013: Chopard unveils its Journey to Sustainable Luxury, a multi-year commitment to ensuring more responsible sourcing throughout our supply chain.
2015: At the Cannes Festival, Chopard launches its first fine jewellery collection in Fairmined-certified ethical gold. Inspired by the design of the famous Palme d’or awarded in Cannes, the Palme Verte collection is crafted in Fairmined-certified 18-carat yellow gold. At the same event, Chopard introduces an Haute Joaillerie bracelet featuring the first traceable and sustainably sourced opals.
2015: Two co-operative mines – one in Bolivia and the other in Colombia – achieve Fairmined certification. Chopard pledges to buy 100 percent of the Fairmined gold the mines produce.
2016: At the Cannes Festival, Chopard announces its new partnership with Gemfields and unveils a capsule in the Haute Joaillerie Green Carpet Collection featuring responsibly sourced emeralds for the very first time.
2018: On the occasion of Baselworld, Chopard announces that by July 2018, the Maison will use 100 percent ethical gold for the production of its watches and jewellery.
2019: The Alpine Eagle becomes Chopard’s first watch collection to be made in Lucent Steel, with a rate of 70 percent recycled steel.
2020: Chopard partners with the Swiss Better Gold Association on a ground-breaking project to source gold from a Colombian artisanal gold panners community (the ‘Barequeros’), one of the most environmentally-conscious gold mining operations in the world.
2023: Chopard announces that its steel watches – including bracelets and cases – will be made from Lucent Steel, with a recycling rate of 80 percent by end 2023, and minimum 90 percent by 2025.
Climate Group’s SteelZero
Climate Group’s SteelZero is a global initiative bringing together forward-looking organisations to speed up the transition to a net zero steel industry. Led by the international non-profit Climate Group in partnership with ResponsibleSteel, organisations that join SteelZero make a public commitment to procure, specify or stock 100 percent net zero steel by 2050. By harnessing their collective purchasing power and influence, SteelZero is sending a strong demand signal to shift global markets and policies towards responsible production and sourcing of steel.