Earth-first timepieces

Watchmaker Panerai has committed to a stringent framework of sustainability with its Panerai Ecologico program.

21 April 2022


At Panerai, a spirit of excellence and tenacity extends beyond the realm of watchmaking; it applies to every endeavour to which the brand turns its attention.

And as the crisis of climate change becomes an ever-present reality, Panerai has steadily expanded its efforts to promote sustainable practices, both in its internal operations and through external outreach and educational initiatives.

Panerai Ecologico is the framework that embraces all sustainability activities at Panerai, categorised by five pillars: Performance (in real estate), Processes, Products, Partnerships and People. The building that houses Panerai operations sets the tone for the environmentally conscious practices within.

It’s a modern building that adheres to rigorous standards that aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero by implementing several recycling processes and the intelligent use of renewable resources.

For example, the reuse of rainwater (225,000 litres of rainwater saved a year) and 100 percent hydroelectric electricity to power the manufacturing process.


But that’s not all. Recycling energy produced by air compression machines provides energy to heat water and solar panels have been installed to harness the sun’s power (contributing 15 percent to the heating system output).

A heat-pump and 36 geothermal sensors have been installed to keep the internal temperature balanced without using electricity, therefore avoiding burning 65.000 litres of fuel a year.

A member of the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2012 and Code of Practices certified since 2014, Panerai is at the forefront of forging ingenious materials and processes, pushing the boundaries further for recyclability.

eSteel™ is a next-generation metal obtained from pre-consumer recycled steel scraps (up to 95 percent) coming from different industries, preferably from the Swiss watchmaking industry. Its production significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

Panerai has also joined the Watches & Jewellery Initiative 2030, a project launched by Cartier and Kering in cooperation with the Responsible Jewellery Council to develop shared sustainability objectives for global watch and jewellery brands.

Members of the initiative commit to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, keeping their reductions consistent with the 1.5°C pathway by 2030 and achieving Net Zero by 2050. In addition, participating brands are expected to implement 100 percent renewable energy across operations by 2025.

Creating watches that fire the imagination is the cornerstone of the brand. Panerai fulfils that objective through sophisticated complications and the materials applied within.

In 2021, Panerai introduced eLAB-ID™, a concept watch pushing the limits of recyclability in the industry. The brand did not monopolise details surrounding its components.

On the contrary, Panerai shared information concerning its suppliers and collaborators, recognising the entire watch industry must have access to the same materials to broaden opportunities for sustainable watchmaking.

More environmentally conscious measures lie ahead: by 2025, 30 percent of the collection will be designed and produced using recycled materials.

As a brand whose legacy is inextricably connected to underwater exploration, improving the oceans’ health is critical to Panerai.

Engagement with the state of the marine environment led to a partnership with IOC-UNESCO – the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO – to develop the Ocean Literacy program, a component of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030). The two-year collaboration will focus on education, citizen science and industry involvement.

To address the issue of education, Panerai launched a worldwide campaign among 100 universities across the world to enlighten students on how a luxury brand like Panerai can be a force for good for the planet, thanks to its serious commitment towards sustainability.

The curriculum demonstrates the positive impact achieved by involving as many people as possible in concrete actions.

“Ocean Literacy is more than informing the public. It empowers them to be active agents of change and to feel capable of translating knowledge into action,” says Francesca Santoro, Program Specialist for the IOC.

“Companies like Panerai can have a big impact on the environment both by changing the way they produce goods but also by convincing the public of the importance of these goals.”

“As a company, we have the responsibility to be active and support the urgent need for change and help protecting our Planet, empowering everyone to take direct action to take care of it,” says CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué.

“The more we can work together, the better.”

A collection of thoughtful actions by engaged individuals can reap significant improvements. To that end, Panerai encourages its employees to contribute to their communities.

Centered on the People pillar, Panerai work by the Do It Together initiative that promotes employees’ participation in volunteer efforts. The brand also organises plastic collection days to contribute to ocean clean-up efforts.

Panerai also supports Imibala, a South African education NGO whose mission empowers students to approach their scholarship with an international outlook. It will require broad-minded, border-bridging leadership to overcome climate change.

Founded in Florence in 1860 as a shop, workshop and subsequently school of watch-making, for many decades Panerai supplied the Italian Navy and its specialist diving corps, in particular with precision instruments.

The designs developed by Panerai in that time, including the Luminor and Radiomir, were covered by the Military Secrets Act for many years. They were only launched on the international market after the brand was acquired by the Richemont Group in 1997.

Today, Panerai develops and crafts its movements and watches at its Neuchâtel manufacture. The watches are a seamless melding of Italian design flair and history with Swiss horological expertise.

Panerai watches are sold across the world through an exclusive network of distributors and Panerai boutiques.



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