Government pilot scheme | Watches of Switzerland joins test to aid ESG with AI

Watches of Switzerland joins test to aid ESG with AI

Watches of Switzerland Group has said it will take part in a UK government-funded pilot scheme which will see companies use Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to benefit Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts.

The pilot programme aims to help the luxury watch and jewellery retailer enhance the ESG ambitions of itself and its suppliers.

UK-based company Sevva AI, which focuses on technology for sustainability, will lead the project with a budget of £1million and £500,000 grant funding from Innovate UK, with the remaining investment matched by Sevva AI.

Watches of Switzerland Group notably has some ambitious ESG targets, aiming to cut some of its emissions in half by 2030 and reduce other damaging outputs by 42%, with an overarching goal to be net-zero by 2050 in-line with the Paris Agreement.

This government-backed pilot is the first of its kind, seeing a business rely heavily on the power of AI to bolster its ESG assessment and efforts. The project is set to commence in 2025.

Sevva AI’s founder and CEO Emanuela Vartolomei, told the Financial Times that the technology will offer a “customised and fully automated ESG workflow designed to keep humans in the loop and automate the low-level, time-consuming tasks [involved in reporting ESG]”

AI for ESG

The AI tools that will be used by Watches of Switzerland will draw on data from public sources and third-party reports to provide ESG analysis and reporting.

This pilot, if successful, will serve as an example of the various positive possibilities when it comes to the use of AI in the corporate world. This is particularly poignant considering many firms are taking a step back from ESG due to tighter budgets and growing economic strain.

Yet, many firms still have much scepticism around the use and integration of AI, and how it can integrate into their company.

If firms are able to utilise this technology to boost their efforts, with minimal time or financial spending, this could signify a victorious shift in the way businesses approach their various challenges around sustainability.

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