In a landmark new partnership, Breitling will purchase sustainable aviation fuel for all its SWISS flights, with the goal of achieving CO2 neutrality on air travel.
SWISS International Air Lines and watchmaker Breitling have entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership in Switzerland. Breitling will purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for all its business-related flights operated by SWISS, beginning retroactively for the entire 2022 calendar year.
With the purchase of the respective amount of SAF, Breitling will reduce its flight-related CO2 emissions by 80%. Breitling will achieve carbon neutrality on its air travel by offsetting the remaining CO2 emissions through investments in high-quality carbon offsets.
“For us, sustainability is not a project, it’s a journey we’re on to transform our business,” says Georges Kern, CEO at Breitling. “Achieving CO2 neutrality on our work-related SWISS flights is an important way for us to reduce our emissions and, through the purchase of SAF, make a small contribution to the sustainability transition of the aviation industry, which we’ve been closely linked to since the 1930s.”
SAF is a jet fuel of non-fossil origin that closes the carbon cycle. The SAF currently used by SWISS is produced from biogenic waste, such as used cooking oils, and results in 80% fewer CO2 emissions than the fossil fuel alternative. Synthetic fuels available in the future will be virtually CO2-neutral. SAF is of paramount importance for the decarbonization of aviation. At present, however, SAF is only available in small quantities, which is why the rapid ramp-up of production is crucial.
Breitling is the official onboard timekeeper to SWISS, which, in 2021, became the first commercial airline to fly from Switzerland using SAF and is taking targeted actions to foster the further development of SAF and make it more broadly available. The operator is also investing billions to purchase energy-efficient aircraft that reduce carbon emissions by 25% over their predecessors and continuously optimizing its flight operations. In this way, Breitling’s partnership with SWISS is not only reducing the watchmaker’s carbon footprint, but also contributing to the future of sustainable air travel.
Dieter Vranckx, CEO at SWISS, says, “With its commitment to SAF, Breitling is playing an exemplary pioneering role here. Collaborations like this are tangibly accelerating the production of sustainable aviation fuels and driving the transition towards CO2-neutral flying.”
Concrete Actions to Achieve Sustainability Goals
Action by action, Breitling is working to improve its materials and processes, and is building sustainability into every aspect of its business. Some of those efforts include:
- Salesforce Net Zero: To generate the precise calculations that enable Breitling to achieve carbon neutrality across all measured emissions, the watchmaker is implementing Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud, a carbon accounting solution that helps companies track their carbon footprint. This cloud-based sustainability solution provides “what if” analysis to help predict where emissions come from and where to reduce them, so Breitling can accelerate its commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative.
- Sustainable packaging: Breitling created an eco-friendly, foldable, and reusable watch box—an industry first. Made from 100% upcycled plastic bottles, the packaging received the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label for products that address environmental challenges without compromising economic growth. This move works alongside Breitling’s goal of eliminating plastic waste across the brand by 2025.
- Outerknown ECONYL® yarn straps: Breitling has partnered with Outerknown, the sustainable clothing brand co-founded by world surf champion Kelly Slater, to develop a line of watch straps made of ECONYL® yarn. This resilient material is made of upcycled ghost fishing nets and other nylon waste extracted from the world’s oceans.
- SUGi: This nonprofit organization reforests urban environments to reestablish natural biodiversity. Since partnering with SUGi in 2020, Breitling has planted 17,600 trees, restoring approximately 264 native plant species on 14,400 m2 across nine forests in seven countries.
- Ocean Conservancy: Plastic pollution in the ocean is omnipresent. With Ocean Conservancy, Breitling plays an active role in cleanup activities that contribute to healthier, trash-free seas.
- Carbon neutrality: Breitling is working towards achieving retroactive carbon neutrality on all its measured emissions going back to April 1, 2021. The brand’s efforts to date have offset a total of 4,711 tons of CO2e emissions.*
*CO2e refers to carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.