Oris takes the lead among watch brands that focus on sustainability. We examine the brand’s work, its 2022 sustainability report and its eco-friendly watches; meanwhile, we can’t help but think about our own note.
It is called that mechanical watches are inherently sustainable. While it is necessary to change the technological devices updated with innovations every few years, a mechanical watch is transferred to the next generations and continues to work. However, sustainability, which is the topic of today’s agenda, has of course (and fortunately) moved to watchmaking as well, adding to the emotional attachment to watches, the inner comfort of fulfilling their social responsibility duty by acquiring these watches.
Sustainability in watchmaking progresses from several branches at the same time: 1. Brands produce watches that draw attention to nature and recycling. 2. Production centers; energy conversion, endemic plant cultivation, plastic waste and carbon emission neutralization. 3. Brands work with social responsibility associations and activists aligned with their mission to fund them.
While the watches produced by the recycling of used fishing nets, which are recycled from plastic waste in the oceans, are increasing day by day, a few brands are one step ahead with their emphasis on this issue. Swiss watch brand Oris takes the lead among them. Founded in 1904, the Swiss brand was known for its watches in the “accessible luxury” segment, mainly diving and aviation; but some time ago it added the slogan “Bringing Change for the Better” and the goal of “sustainability”. The brand made its headquarters in Hölstein climate neutral with the strategy drawn by the international sustainability ambassador Sven Mostögl, published the company’s “sustainability report” as a result of a three-year study, started to cooperate with leading associations to protect the oceans, the creatures in the oceans, and save the world from non-recyclable waste.
First, let us look at the brand’s “2022 Sustainability Report” together. This report is based on the emissions audit conducted by the independent organization ClimatePartner, which has certified Oris as a climate neutral company. Oris officials also put a mark on the statement that we said at the beginning that “watches are already sustainable”: “Many people in our industry say that a Swiss-made mechanical watch is basically a sustainable object. Because these watches are designed to last a lifetime, meaning they have a very low daily carbon footprint. However, while this is true, it is not sufficient. Generating emissions is an inevitable consequence of our business, but given the climate crisis our world is facing, we have a responsibility to closely scrutinize our emissions and implement a strategy to prevent, reduce or offset them.”
While describing the work done in the report, it is emphasized that they are at the very beginning of the work: “This report is proof of work in progress, not a work that has been done.”
Oris, on its way to gain climate neutral status, has adopted the 17 goals set by the United Nations member states under the title of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. These items were as follows: Eliminating poverty, solving hunger, quality education, ensuring gender equality, clean water and sanitation, accessible and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, solving industry, innovation and infrastructure problems, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities. and communities, build responsible production and consumption, take climate action, protect life in the water, protect life on land, build peace, justice and strong institutions, provide partnerships for causes. In other words, it is not enough to just protect the environment in order to be sustainable; It is also necessary to fulfill the clauses such as being an activist yourself, managing the human resources in the company based on equality, considering the physical and mental health of the employees, and being a part of the society that will not harm them.
Oris summed up his change with three items he called the “Triangle of Change”: Ecological, Economic, Social. In the ecological part, it aims to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent each year for the next three years and works with environmental protection associations. While conducting a valuable and meaningful exchange program in the economic part, it also aims to be economically profitable. In the social part, it aims to encourage its employees and their environment to be more sensitive to the environment, to be good citizens and to lead a healthier life.
Let’s summarize what has changed in Oris’s work since 2019 with a few items: While carbon emissions were 2,300 tons in 2019, this figure decreased by -234 tons in 2022. This consumption includes items such as electricity, flights for work, use of electric vehicles, and packaging.
In Oris’ watches, we saw this mission first in the Ocean Trilogy. These three hours focused on plastic waste, bleaching corals and protecting the endangered blue whale. Recycled plastic is used on the back of the watches with an artistic motif, while the watch’s case is made from a recycled material. It was followed by the notable Aquis Date Upcycle, made from recycled plastic waste to refer to the view of the ocean in the waste. This year’s “environmental activist” hour was New York Harbor, which we will discuss in more detail in the next article. With the proceeds of this watch and the work to be carried out in collaboration with the Billion Oyster Project, it is aimed to increase the number of oysters in New York Harbor to one billion. In addition to the straps recycled from PET bottle waste, Oris watches use recycled lambskin, which we see in the Big Crown x Cervo Volante collection.
The associations and works with which the brand cooperates are refreshing:
– All over the world, it regularly organizes garbage collection activities in cooperation with #tide, which we also participated in Turkey with Turmepa. Waste plastics collected with #tide are turned into raw materials.
– Through ClimatePartner, he supports the Plastic Bank project, which runs plastic collection projects in more than 500 locations around the world, preventing ocean-bound plastic from entering the oceans and improving conditions for those who help collect it.
– With the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, it is working to protect the habitat of the Wadden Sea, which is considered a World Heritage Site because it is one of the largest remaining natural tidal ecosystems in the world.
-He works with the Reef Restoration Society to plant a million corals and repair reefs damaged by coral bleaching. Coral reefs are being repaired as seen in the video below.
While we are writing these lines, our minds are of a different kind: Does sustainability have such a comprehensive set of items for most of our companies? Are the health and well-being of employees considered in the same way besides making offices carbon neutral, and do our companies provide adequate and continuous assistance to environmental organizations? This would be the aim of this article: To make people think about our own strategies and spread the action, starting from a watch brand that aims to be sustainable.