London, UK- 24 July “We are today with sustainability where we were with digital transformation 20 years ago. Those who embraced it thrived but also gained new and younger clients, those who dismissed it in many ways got left behind. Sustainability is the greatest single issue facing watches and jewellery today, and I want to help everyone understand what they can do to be part this movement.” Melanie Grant Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
Today the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) are proud to officially offer our first ever ESG toolkit to members after it was exclusively launched on 23rd June 2023 at Harvard University. The “State of the Art Jewelry” summit hosted by the RJC, the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) and the Mineralogical and Geological Museum at Harvard University (MGMH) held a panel entitled ESG Demystified where moderater Elizabeth Keenan from Harvard Business School discussed the meaning of sustainability systems in business with panellists Jasmeet Kaur – Senior ESG and Impacts Manager at the RJC, Toby Pomeroy – founder of Mercury Free Mining and Karin Kreider – the Executive Director of ISEAL. Our ESG toolkit is designed to assist our members to understand and report on their ESG impacts.
The toolkit breaks down the purpose and scope of all the ESG reporting frameworks and standards that are currently on the market, in efforts to equip RJC members with the knowledge to make an informed decision based on their individual business needs. All members will eventually have to report, whether it be due to regulation, contractual requirements, sustainable procurement, or consumer preferences. The work presented in our RJC toolkit is the mapping of the COP against the relevant ESG frameworks and the SDGs.
The RJC mission is to help companies create and implement sustainable and responsible business practices, right at the heart of their business strategies.
At the RJC we know calls for the jewellery industry to act more responsibly in terms of environmental and social impact are not new. However, the calls are growing louder, particularly from consumers, who are increasingly favouring brands that act responsibly, value diversity, and have a compelling brand presence both online and offline.
In fact, according to a McKinsey study by 2025, 20-30% of global fine jewellery sales will be influenced by sustainability considerations from environmental impact to ethical sourcing practices. This is equivalent to as much as $110 billion, which is a 3 to 4 time increase in sustainability-influenced purchases since 2019. The study also finds that this trend is expected to impact companies of all sizes and geographies alike, with companies buying diamonds and gemstones wholesale coming under the same degree of scrutiny as vertically integrated players that operate their own mines.
To show consumers that they are credible and sincere about driving environmental and social progress, companies will need to improve the traceability and transparency within their supply chains. Not adapting to these shifts in consumer attitudes is a high risk to company reputation. In an emotion-driven industry, the costs of such lapses can be significant.
Millennials are now turning to small businesses/local brands with an interesting story and strong ideals. Failing to keep up with consumer demands and changing expectations will likely translate to impact in the bottom line.
The RJC bring together over 1700 companies of all sizes, across the global watch and jewellery supply chain, from retail to mining. What unites us is our shared belief that responsible business, without causing harm to people or the planet, is good business and that this can only be achieved by working together, in partnership with others. In doing so, we are enhancing trust in the global jewellery and watch industry and underpinning its future, so people continue to hold jewellery close to their hearts for centuries to come.