ABOVE: Gaetano Cavalieri (centre), CIBJO President, addressing the OECD Mineral Supply Chain Forum in Paris on April 23, 2019. He is flanked by Guus Houtluin, Senior Advisor on Trade Issues, European External Action Service, and by Estelle Levin-Nally of Levin Sources.
APRIL 23, 2019
Speaking in Paris today to a plenary session of the 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has delineated a comprehensive plan for promoting responsible sourcing practices throughout the jewellery, gemstone and precious metals sectors, which includes the release this past January of CIBJO’s new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, and an online platform that will provide a set of dedicated due diligence tools free of charge to the industry.
The CIBJO President was speaking during a special session on the first day of the OECD forum at which select stakeholders provided details about current and updated projects. The session was moderated by Guus Houtluin, a senior advisor on trade issues at the European Action Service (EEAS).
In his presentation, the CIBJO president pointed to factors that molded CIBJO’s strategic approach. The greater jewellery industry is overwhelmingly comprised of SMEs, many of which are family-owned and run, he noted, pointing out that, while on the one hand that means that they are more likely to remain committed to the business over the long term, on the other hand many are limited in the amount of resources and personnel they can commit to detailed compliance systems.
“This paradox has become more apparent over the past decade and a half, as awareness of responsible practices has grown, both among our members and our consumers. As an organisation, much of our attention has been concentrated on meeting the requirements of a socially aware business community, while trying to protect the fabric of our industry,” he stated.
A key step step in CIBJO’s programme was the release this January of its Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, which provides a framework and guidance for ethically sourcing gems and precious metals responsibly in the jewellery sector. It references the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for minerals from high-risk areas, insists on compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties, and it supports the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
“An operating principle was that it would be inclusive, meaning that there is an expectation that the standards, guidelines and systems that it describes can reasonably be applied by all members of the industry, irrespective of size or financial capacity,” the CIBJO President stated.
To support members of the jewellery industry in implementing the principles laid out in our responsible sourcing document, CIBJO is now in the process of setting up an online platform that will educate them about the due diligence steps that should be taken, and at the same time will provide a set of downloadable tools and templates, which they can adapt for their use.
A dedicated suite of due diligence tools will be available at no cost via the the new CIBJO online platform. Dr. Cavalieri explained, and helping CIBJO develop this service is the Coloured Gemstones Working Group, facilitated by the Dragonfly Initiative. The Dragonfly Initiative is an advisory firm that supports businesses in the precious metals, gemstones and raw materials sectors create interconnected systems of environmentally, economically and socially responsible companies.
“Our ultimate goal is to support the principles expounded by the OECD and to introduce them to thousands of companies in the jewellery supply chain, so creating environments in which those companies may responsibly trade and manage the minerals they use,” Dr. Cavalieri said.
To download a copy of Dr. Cavalieri’s full speech to the OECD forum, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
CIBJO President lays out comprehensive plan to promote responsible sourcing in jewellery industry to OECD forum in ParisSteven Benson2019-04-23T22:11:56+00:00
ABOVE: OECD headquarters in Paris, the venue for next week’s 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.
APRIL 17, 2019
CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri will present the World Jewellery Confederations’ recently approved Responsible Sourcing Blue Book next Tuesday, April 23, 2019, to the full plenary of the 2019 Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at its headquarters in Paris.
The OECD forum, which this year will welcome about 1,200 delegates, will feature sessions on measuring impact and driving change, opportunities and challenges related to specific minerals such as diamonds, base metals, cobalt, the 3Ts and gold, and regulatory and policy updates related to responsible sourcing. In particular, the forum will focus on the OECD’s highly-regarded Due Diligence Guidance framework for minerals from high-risk areas.
The CIBJO president will be speaking during a late afternoon session on the first day of the forum, at which selected OECD stakeholders will provide overviews of current and upcoming projects, with a focus on toolkits and data sources meant to facilitate the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.
The first edition of the Responsible Sourcing Book was approved by the CIBJO Board of Directors in January of this year. While not a definitive code of practice, it recommends guidelines and procedures by which all participants in the jewellery supply chain may undertake supply-chain due diligence to support responsible sourcing, irrespective of their size or financial capacity, to identify, assess and mitigate any identifiable risks related to human rights, labour practices, money laundering, financing of confict and corruption.
It becomes the latest in CIBJO’s Blue Book series of industry guides for standards and nomenclature. It specifically references the the OECD’s five-step Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, and supports the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
During his presentation, Dr. Cavalieri will also outline a complementary programme, currently being created to support members of the jewelry industry implement the recommended due diligence measures in their own businesses.
CIBJO President to present new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book at OECD’s Responsible Minerals Supply Chain Forum in ParisSteven Benson2019-04-17T13:06:13+00:00
ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (second from left), at the podium during the Conova Club meeting on sustainability in Milan on April 10, 2019. He is joined on the podium by (from left) Professor Enrico Giovannini; moderator Laura La Posta, Editor in Chief of Il Sole 24 Ore; 2001 Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Andrew Michael Spence; and Alexia Giugni, Managing Director of the DWS Group.
APRIL 10, 2019
Speaking yesterday to members of the Canova Club, an exclusive Italian association of opinion leaders and decision makers from the country’s economic, finance and business communities, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has described what he termed as an essential shift in thinking in the jewellery industry, where the attitude towards artisanal and small-scale mining is changing from it being considered a challenge, to being more of an opportunity.
“Defensive measures in which the industry has played a key role, like the Kimberley Process, have helped reduce the level of violence in regions where artisanal mining is taking place, although there is good deal that still needs to be done, particularly in terms of systemic violence,” he said. “But in addition to that, the industry is getting involved at the grass-roots level to help equip and educate the artisanal mining communities, providing them legal access for their merchandise into the marketplace, and supplying them with knowledge to ensure that they are being paid fairly for what they produce.”
CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri during the Conova Club meeting on sustainability in Milan.
Founded in Rome in 1978, the Canova Club gathers together a virtual who’s who of the Italian business world, conducting conclaves at which issues of common interest are discussed. The most recent gathering focused on the theme of “Sustainability: A Megatrend or Utopia?”
It featured a panel that included Dr. Cavalieri; Enrico Giovannini, a professor of economic statistics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, who in 2013 and 2014 served as Italy’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy, and between 2001 and 2009 was Director of Statistics and Chief Statistician of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and Andrew Michael Spence, a Canadian-American economist and labour specialist at New York University, Stanford University and the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, who in 2001 was the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The moderator of the event was Laura La Posta, Editor in Chief at Il Sole 24 Ore, a leading business daily in Milan.
In his wide raging overview of the economic and social role of the jewellery sector in developing countries, Dr. Cavalieri said that some of the traditional definitions of sustainability needed to be adjusted for an industry where many of its raw components are mined.
“For minerals, we have defined sustainability as their potential to generate sustainable grass-roots economic and social opportunities in the countries and regions in which they are located,” Dr. Cavalieri said. “And here we refer to opportunities both in the mineral extraction and the jewellery industries, and also in other economic sectors, which are secondary beneficiaries of the investments made in and revenues generated by precious gems and minerals.”
“But we do need to draw a distinction between industrialised mining operations and small-scale and artisanal mining,” he continued. “Larger mining companies typically have massive social development programmes, and are subject to stringent environmental regulations, which are part and parcel of their modus operandi. The same is not true of artisanal mining, which often is carried out by individuals or two or three-person operations, using the most basic equipment, with health and safety not primary concerns. These are the miners whose security is most likely to be threatened, and who often do not not properly understand the value of what they have extracted, meaning that they are frequently exploited by the traders who buy their goods.”
However, noted the CIBJO President, There also parts of the jewellery business, where not only economic activity is sustainable, but so is the product – environmentally as well as socially and economically. “These most often these involve biogenic materials in a marine environment, where sustainability is made possible through aquafarming, such as with cultured pearls, or controlled harvesting, as with precious coral,” he stated.
Over the past several years there has been been a strong move towards the adoption of uniform standards of practice, so as to optimise conditions in which sustainable activities can take place, Dr. Cavalieri said. These include the creation of strict codes, against which companies can be audited and certified.
“In principle these are positive developments, but they have raised some very difficult challenges for an industry that is made up predominantly by SMEs. Small companies, with limited human and financial resources, often struggle to meet the demands of compliance organisations, and many family-owned firms, which are ethical and often have been in the business for generations, find themselves being pushed aside by clients, simply because they are not certified as compliant,” Dr. Cavalieri continued.
CIBJO, he said, has been working hard to provide solutions, and particular in the more fragile sectors of the jewellery business, like coloured gemstones, where almost all firms qualify as SMEs, even the mining companies. Its new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book provides a framework and guidance for ethically sourcing gems and precious metals responsibly in the jewellery sector, referencing the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for minerals from high-risk areas.
“The philosophy that guided us in the creation of the Responsible Sourcing Book is that all participants in the jewellery business have a duty of care, and thus should conduct supply-chain due diligence to the best of their ability,” the CIBJO President said.
“I strongly believe that, by committing to sustainability, our industry is able redefine the value proposition of our products in the public consciousness. Not only are they objets d’art and symbols of love and devotion, but they also are instruments that actively serve to create better and more sustainable societies” Dr. Cavalieri stated.
“When consumers buy jewellery, they should feel that they are not only doing something for themselves and their loved ones, but for the world and society as well,” he said.
A view from the audience during the Conova Club meeting on sustainability in Milan on April 9, 2019.
Speaking to audience of Italian business leaders, CIBJO President outlines sustainability strategy for jewellery industrySteven Benson2019-04-10T15:06:05+00:00