Rub of the Green Audemars Piguet’s conservationism
The link between Audemars Piguet and rainforests may not be an obvious one but a visit to the watch brand’s headquarters in the Vallée de Joux reveals all. “Our factory is surrounded by forests that are highly protected by laws, so we have been lucky because they are all healthy,” says Jasmine Audemars, AP’S chairwoman and the great-granddaughter of company co-founder Jules Audemars, who now runs the Audemars Piguet Foundation. “It inspired my father and all of us that this would be a good outreach project. There are so many foundations out there that we each have to focus on different things so we can accomplish more. As difficult as it is not to be discouraged by all we cannot do sometimes, they key is to focus on what we can do.” And they’ve been able to do a lot. In fact, since they began in 1992, they’ve financed more than 80 projects in 40 countries as diverse as Senegal and Scotland, planting trees in locales ranging from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Cerrado savannah in Brazil. Current initiatives include restoration of sustainable agriculture in Orissa, India, and biodiversity work at a nature park in Madagascar. “We were a pioneer when we started but there’s still a need for replenishing forests and restoring the biodiversity of biotopes destroyed by natural disasters, over-use and climate changes,” says Ms. Audemars, who explains that their ancillary goal is to raise awareness of conservation among the young so as to preserve the notion of preservation itself.