(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY / LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — CIBJO, the World Jewelry Confederation, and the Colored Gemstone Working Group (CGWG) facilitated by the Dragonfly Initiative (TDI) have announced a new collaboration to strengthen and disseminate tools and resources for the responsible sourcing of colored gemstones, to support a transparent, sustainable and vibrant colored gemstone industry. It is intended that the tools and resources being developed will also be applicable, where possible, in other sectors of the wider jewelry industry.
The two organizations are planning to make a suite of tools and resources downloadable free of charge from an online platform. The objective is that they will support any company, irrespective of its size, geographic location or financial capacity, in conducting due diligence of their supply chains.
CIBJO is an association of national jewelry associations and commercial bodies involved in the jewelry industry dedicated to the harmonization of standards and nomenclature, and the promotion of responsible business practices through jewelry industry supply chains. In January 2019, the Board of Directors of CIBJO approved the first edition of the Responsible Sourcing Book, which provides a framework and guidance for due diligence related to the responsible sourcing of gemstones and precious metals in the jewelry sector.
The CGWG comprises Tiffany & Co., Swarovski, Richemont, Muzo Companies, LVMH, Kering, and Gemfields and has been facilitated by The Dragonfly Initiative since 2015. The Dragonfly Initiative (“TDI”) is an advisory firm established to support businesses in precious metals, gemstones and raw materials’ value chains to work collaboratively, and for mutual benefit, to realize an environmentally, economically and socially responsible system of connected enterprises. The CGWG’s goal is to provide the necessary business tools and resources to enable all members of the colored gemstone industry to embed sustainability into their organizations and in their decisions for the sourcing of gemstones.
Colored gemstones are unique, as are the businesses and people who work to recover, cut, polish and manufacture the jewelry in which they are set. It is imperative that, as standards of corporate accountability, labour practices, environmental protection and good governance across the industry are raised, they are done so while protecting the traditions, crafts and livelihoods of all who work in and depend on it.
On April 23, 2019, against the backdrop of the OECD Responsible Minerals Forum in Paris, CIBJO and the CGWG signed a Memorandum of Understanding, according to which they committed to jointly developing management tools and resources that will help businesses of all sizes and activities in the industry implement best practices for responsible sourcing. The objectives of the joint cooperation include:
- Mutual support in the development and implementation of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Blue Book;
- Development and publication of a practical “toolkit” that will help small companies with their implementation of the guidance in the CIBJO Blue Book through a dedicated online resource platform hosted and managed by TDI; and
- Development of educational and promotional programs for the CIBJO Blue Book and the toolkit, aimed at informing stakeholders about the CIBJO Blue Book.
Speaking at the signing of the MOU, CIBJO President Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri commented: “What we are accomplishing through this agreement goes beyond making declarative statements about the need to practice responsible sourcing; it also provides members of our industry, and especially the many small and medium-sized companies of which we are predominantly comprised, practical means of getting the job done. We have long contended that supply chain integrity should not become an artificial barrier of entry into the business, and that support must be extended to all ethical players. That is exactly what we will be doing.”
Dr. Assheton Stewart Carter, CEO of The Dragonfly Initiative and representing the eight brands and mining companies of the CGWG, said: “The responsible sourcing movement is a powerful force that has the potential to bring transformative change and improve the lives of many people deep in the colored gemstone supply chain. The objective must be to democratize sustainability, so it is accessible to even the smallest businesses and individual crafts people. To have a truly sustainable footprint, industry collaboration is the only way forward. The CGWG has taken a step to provide the tools and information to help achieve this goal, but it is only the first step. The next steps in this journey need to be taken in tandem with others and we are thrilled, therefore, to be working with CIBJO on this important initiative.”
Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chief sustainability officer of Tiffany & Co., said: “Tiffany & Co. is proud to be a member of the CGWG, which came together to address social and environmental issues in the sourcing of colored gemstones and identify opportunities to strengthen responsible practices along the entire value chain. At Tiffany & Co., we believe that a key objective of this work is to embed sustainability throughout the colored gemstone industry by creating resources, tools and best practice guidance for the thousands of small and medium companies along the supply chain. Along with the other members of the CGWG, we are pleased to be partnering with CIBJO to help empower these suppliers to advance responsible practices in their own operations and, ultimately, to have a positive impact on workers, local communities and the environment.”
Claire Piroddi, sustainability manager watches and jewelry at Kering, noted: “At Kering, we think that, if we want to change the status quo around responsible sourcing, collaboration is key. While we are focusing on understanding the risks and sustainable development opportunities in our supply chain, we want to leverage our knowledge to develop the capacity of our business partners to meet international expectations. The tools developed in the CGWG have been instrumental to that end and we want to keep working in that direction through this joint program with CIBJO.”