The Stone Pierced Earrings is a typical product from the Swarovski earrings collections. It has a minimalist look with a small size (3/8 inches). Priced at $69, the earrings are available in two colors: white (rhodium-plated) and pink (rose-gold tone plated). I bought a white pair early this year and it has become my go-to earrings recently. But my purchase was completely out of aesthetic reasons as I was drawn to its minimalism design and had little idea of how sustainable it was.
I can see that Swarovski cares for their employees and local communities. A 1.5-planet is given to the overall rating because they are pretty transparent about their commitment to sustainability and I don’t regret buying this product, although Swarovski can still improve on their sourcing and emission reduction.
According to Swarovski Customer Care, the basic metals used in Swarovski jewelries are usually brass or white alloy, which are then plated with silver, gold, rhodium and etc. Rhodium is used in this pair of earrings, and the metal belongs to the platinum precious metal group, which is more durable than silver and more precious than gold as it does not oxidize or tarnish. In 2018, Swarovski transitioned 100% of their topaz sourcing to traceable and responsible sources from artisanal mining communities in Sri Lanka and a mining cooperative in Brazil. A 1-planet rating is given to this category as I would love to see how Swarovski would improve their sourcing of other materials.
Based on Swarovski’s Sustainability Report of 2019 and 2017: 35% (2019) of the energy used in manufacturing and product locations come from renewable sources, compared to 33% (2017). And since 2010, Swarovski has reduced 29% (2019) of their energy use, compared to 26% (2017). It seems that Swarovski is making continuous improvements on their sustainability commitment. However, it came to my attention that the reduction of Scope 1 emissions (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources) since 2010 was 59% in 2017, whereas that figure became 56% in 2019, meaning that Swarovski might have increased their Scope 1 emissions during the past two years. A 1-planet rating is given to this category as Swarovski’s emission goals is yet to be improved. It might also be worthwhile for Swarovski to track Scope 2 (indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling) and Scope 3 (all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain) emissions.
Swarovski has been working on gender equity promotion and women empowerment to narrow gender gap. According to Swarovski’s Sustainability Reports, 40% (2019) of senior managers are women, compared to 27% (2017); and 70% (2019) of employees are women, compared to 73% (2017). Swarovski has started several educational events such as online training programs to break unconscious bias (113 employees engaged), leadership training (565 high potential leaders developed by 2018), mentoring programs (over 400 mentor and mentee pairs connected globally). Swarovski is also trying to give back to society by establishing waterschool with local NGOs to educate students on water conservation and sanitation hygiene. A 2-planet rating is given to this category as I would like to see these programs continue to grow so they can get more people involved.