May 08, 2018

CIBJO Sets up Committee to Formulate Responsible Sourcing Guidelines for G&J Sector

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has set up an industry-wide working committee, to formulate Responsible Sourcing Guidelines specifically for the jewellery, gem and precious metals sectors. The guidelines, when ratified will have the status of a CIBJO Blue Book, the organisation said in a release.

The objective of the exercise is to formulate harmonised industry guidance as to what constitutes responsible sourcing and how it should be approached, CIBJO explained.

The Responsible Sourcing Committee, which is chaired by CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, includes senior CIBJO officials from various industry sectors, as well as representatives of other industry organisations, including the RJC, with which CIBJO has a Memorandum of Understanding, it added.

A draft of the Guidelines document has already been approved by the CIBJO Board of Directors in March 2018 and the final draft is expected to be ratified at the 2018 CIBJO Congress later this year, following a process of both peer and public review.

It is also expected that at the Congress, the working committee will be transformed into a CIBJO Commission, which will be charged with reviewing and updating the document on a regular basis.

The core Guidance document, which was approved by the CIBJO board in March 2018, was prepared by Philip Olden, a former managing director at the World Gold Council, who is an expert on responsible sourcing strategies in the precious metals and jewellery sector, and consults with major industry bodies in formulating their own responsible sourcing policies, CIBJO stated.

Clarifying that the guidelines will be voluntary recommendations for members of the sector, and will not constitute a standard or compliance mechanism, CIBJO explained that members of the industry who would like certification or any other formal recognition of their implementation of responsible sourcing policies will need to do so through an internationally recognised standards organisation, such as the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).

The proposed CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Guidance will follow the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, and also support the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Elaborating on the importance of formulating such guidelines, Dr. Cavalieri said, "Because we work in a business in which the supply chain almost always comprises multiple players, it is essential that we operate according to the same principles. Moreover, we strongly believe that all participants in the industry, small and large, should be able to demonstrate the integrity in their supply chain to the best of their ability, and the element of inclusiveness will lie at the heart of this document."

Expressing support for this initiative, Andrew Bone, Executive Director of the RJC said, "Responsible sourcing is something that is already undertaken by many jewellery companies and the CIBJO Guidelines will outline the management processes for doing so in a consistent way. We are committed to working with CIBJO in promoting good practices to all members of the industry and will provide the means for companies to certify and assure their responsible sourcing practices through the RJC Code of Practices."