CIBJO and Intertek announce first-ever programme to educate and certify CSR, sustainability and SDG officers for the jewellery industry

ABOVE: Alessandro Ferracino (right), Regional Director of Italy & France Intertek, describing the CIBJO/WJCEF and Intertek to train and certify CSR, sustainability and SDG professionals for the jewellery and gemstone industry, during the VOICE VicenzaOro trade event in Vicenza, Italy, on September 12, 2020. He joined on the podium by Maria Francesca Bergamaschi (left), Intertek Italy’s South Europe Sustainability Manager and Global Manager for the company’s programme with the Responsible Jewellery Council; and Raul Sapora, Intertek Italy’s gemmologist.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, and Intertek Italia SpA, the Italian subsidiary of the Intertek Group, a multinational assurance, inspection, product-testing and certification company that assists companies ensure that their operating procedures and products meet quality, health, environmental, safety, and social accountability standards, have announced a joint initiative to educate, train and certify CSR, sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) compliance officers, specifically for the gemstone and jewellery industries. It will be the first dedicated programme of its sort worldwide.

The announcement was made on September 12, 2020, during the opening day of the VOICE VicenzaOro trade event in Vicenza, Italy, by CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, who was joined on the main stage by Alessandro Ferracino, Regional Director of Italy & France Intertek; Maria Francesca Bergamaschi, Intertek Italy’s South Europe Sustainability Manager and Global Manager for the company’s programme with the Responsible Jewellery Council; and Raul Sapora, Intertek Italy’s gemmologist.

Speaking to the gathering, which was simultaneously streamed worldwide, Mr. Ferracino explained that a three-track programme is being planned, beginning with the defining of professional qualification standards for several levels of jewellery industry CSR/sustainability/SDG  compliance officers, specifying what each requires in terms of educational background, standards proficiency and work experience. The different officers would include Sustainability Managers,  CSR Managers, Sustainability & CSR Auditors, SDG Action Managers and SDGs Users. The positions and their respective qualifications would first be approved by UNI, Italy’s national standardization authority, and that would lead to internationally recognized accreditation.

The second step will involve the creation by CIBJO’s educational arm, the World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), of the International Council for Sustainable Business (ICSB), which will be an academy providing educational programmes that provide prospective compliance officers with the knowledge and skills necessary. Potential candidates for the courses provided through ICSB would be employees of companies operating in the jewellery and gemstone industries, or individuals seeking employment as compliance officers in the sector.

The third step, which will be carried out by Intertek, will be the certification of persons for the various levels of compliance officers, according to an internationally recognized accreditation process. Certification will ascertain that the CSR, sustainability and SDG compliance officers have achieved the necessary competences, knowledge and skills required for their assigned tasks.

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri speaking during the session in Vicenza on September 12, 2020, at which the CIBJO/WJCEF agreement with Intertek was announced.

There are already a range of a CSR, sustainability and SDG standards being applied in our industry, and not only is the number likely to increase, but so are the demands that companies must comply with them in order to gain access to both suppliers and customers,” said Dr. Cavalieri. “But the process can be confusing, and as a result there is a growing need for professional compliance officers, who also are familiar with the specific requirements of our industry, such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the World Diamond Council System of Warranties, the Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practice, the Dodd-Frank Act, the European Conflict Minerals legislation and the OECD conflict minerals guidance, not to mention compliance systems required by private companies.”

“The goal of this programme is to create a class of internationally recognized jewellery industry CSR, sustainability and SDG professionals, who will help companies become compliant,” Dr. Cavalieri continued. “There clearly is a gap in the industry’s skill set, and together with Intertek, CIBJO and WJCEF seek to fill it.”