The quest for perfect balance
Since 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has proved able to strike just the right balance between nature and culture, innovation and tradition, growth and respect for the environment, international expansion and local roots.
This balance, an extremely rare phenomenon within the world of industry, was born from the tough specific constraints imposed by the geographical situation of the Manufacture: the Vallée de Joux is perched an altitude of 1000 metres, far from commercial routes, surrounded by the largest forest stretches in Switzerland, and subject to an extremely harsh climate. By mining the modest local iron deposits, its inhabitants were able to make the most of the endless winters to create the world’s most complicated and most prestigious watches.
As the “Grande Maison” of the Vallée de Joux, the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre made a strong contribution to regional development in the 19th century. In a valley with a population of 6,000, it currently employs over 1000 people. This situation makes it keenly aware of its responsibility to maintain a balance between human activities and nature.
By committing itself to a genuine policy of sustainable development, the Brand is participating in preserving the unique natural setting of the region that is home to many rare or endangered plant or animal species. This commitment is expressed through concrete measures implemented in the field of buildings, transport, energy, recycling and the conservation of local ground water. On a broader level, the Manufacture applies strict norms to its sourcing of wood, paper, leather and diamonds.
In addition to promoting respect for our natural heritage, the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre also plays a key role in the development of the national cultural heritage. Serving as the guardian of hundreds of specific skills, including certain extremely rare crafts, it is also one of the most innovative companies in its field. Its exceptional creations constantly renew the grand Swiss watchmaking tradition. Displayed in both its Heritage Gallery and in travelling exhibitions, its collections of historical timepieces represent a bridge between the past and the future. Above and beyond horology as such, Jaeger-LeCoultre also supports culture as expressed in the visual arts, including through partnerships with the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris or the Mostra film festival in Venice.
Heir to an exceptional material and immaterial cultural legacy, Jaeger-LeCoultre is dedicated to doing all in its power to hand on to future generations an environment that has been effectively safeguarded and a world enriched with a wealth of culture.
The responsible values of Jaeger-LeCoultre
Jaeger-LeCoultre has decided to officialise its commitment to a policy of social and environmental responsibility by signing the Code of Practices of the Responsible Jewellery Council, of which it is a member since March 2008.
Principles of the Responsible Jewellery Council
As Members of the Responsible Jewellery Council, we seek economic, social and environmental benefits from our business activities so that we contribute to Sustainable Development1.
I Business Ethics
1. We are committed to conducting our businesses to a high ethical standard, and to ensuring integrity, transparency and conformance with Applicable Law.
2. We will not engage in Bribery and/or corruption.
3. We will not tolerate Money Laundering and/or financing of terrorism.
4. We will adhere to the Kimberley Process Certification System and the World Diamond Council voluntary System of Warranties.
5. We will fully and accurately disclose the material characteristics of the products that we sell.
6. We will take reasonable measures to ensure the physical integrity and security of product shipments.
7. We will respect commercial confidentiality and data privacy.
II Human Rights and Social Performance
1. We believe in and will respect the fundamental human rights and the dignity of the individual, according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. We will not tolerate the use of Child Labour.
3. We will not use any forced, bonded, indentured or prison labour, nor restrict the freedom of movement of Employees and dependents.
4. We are committed to high standards of Health and Safety in our operations.
5. We will not prevent workers from associating freely. Where laws prohibit these freedoms, we will support parallel means of dialogue.
6. We will not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, marital status, physical appearance, age, or any other applicable prohibited basis in the workplace, such that all individuals who are “Fit for Work” are accorded equal opportunities and are not discriminated against on the basis of factors unrelated to their ability to perform their job.
7. We will not use corporal punishment under any circumstances and will prohibit the use of degrading treatment, harassment, abuse, coercion or intimidation in any form.
8. We will adhere to working hours and remuneration legislation, or, where no such legal requirements have been established by law, the prevailing industry standards.
9. We will support the development of communities where we operate, contributing to their social and economic welfare.
10. We will recognise and respect the rights of indigenous peoples and the value of their traditional, cultural and social heritage.
III Environmental Performance
1. We will conduct our business in an environmentally responsible manner.
2. We will manage our environmental footprint by eliminating or minimising negative environmental impacts.
3. We will ensure the efficiency of our business operations by managing our use of resources and energy.
1 The Council bases its understanding of Sustainable Development on the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”