Focus on

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS

RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY COUNCILS LOOKS TO RAISE PROFILE IN CONSUMER MARKETS

 

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which in 2020 will celebrate the 15th year since its establishment, is planning a program that it intends will to raise the profile of the organization’s code of ethical business practices among jewelry consumers. The program will not only emphasize that an item of jewelry and each of its components sold by an RJC member has been sourced responsibly, but also that they contribute to the fulfillment of the United Nation’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“We need to look at the next 15 years,” said David Bouffard, chairman of the RJC’s Board of Directors in an interview with the Rapaport news service. “We have a new generation of young consumers who are looking for assurances that the RJC provides. Many of our members are retailers, and we need to develop a tool kit to help those companies leverage their membership with consumers.”

Bouffard did not provide details about what is being planned, but said that it is likely to involve online tools and social-media assets that jewelers can use to emphasize their RJC membership to their customers.

RJC’s goal is to build confidence among the jewelry consuming public, said Iris Van der Veken, the organization’s CEO, in conversation with Rapaport. “It’s about building trust among consumers, who are more conscious than ever about the choices they make and sustainability issues,” she said. “It’s important they have the trust and confidence that the product they buy online or in a store has that seal of approval and has met the right sourcing requirements. They need to know that the RJC has the ability to deliver that,” she stated.

Ms. Van der Veken also underscored the commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. “When we look at how to tackle the next 15 years, our strategy is about sustainable growth under the guidance of the SDGs. There is a great opportunity in these goals, and we have to look at how we are contributing to them as an industry.”

THE JEWELRY INDUSTRY’S PREEMINENT STANDARDS ORGANIZATION

Established in 2005 as the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices, RJC is today the preeminent responsible business standards organization operating in the jewelry business.

With its more than 1,100 members comprising companies in the supply chain for gold, silver, diamond and colored stone jewelry, from mine to retail, RJC’s goal is to strengthen consumer confidence by advancing responsible business practices throughout the diamond and gold jewelry supply chain. 

RJC has done this by developing business ethics and environmental and social standards that apply to members at each step in the supply chain. Members commit to and are independently audited against the RJC Code of Practices, which are international standards for responsible business practices for diamonds, gold, platinum group metals, silver and certain colored gemstones, namely rubies, sapphires and emeralds. 

The Code of Practices addresses human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure and other important topics in the jewelry supply chain.

 

MID House of Diamond obtained RJC certification in August 2017

An illustration of the system by which a jewelry company obtains RJC certification.

MID HOUSE OF DIAMOND RECEIVES RJC CERTIFICATION IN 2017

In August 2017, MID was certified as being compliant with RJC’s 2013 Code of Practices. In order to obtain this status, the company was required to first carry out a self-assessment of its operation, and then was subject to an independent audit.

During the process, the auditor verified that the company had put in place all the due diligence requirements necessary to me the conditions of the Code of Practice.

MID’s current certification will remain valid through August 2020.