Gem-A launching CSR course developed in conjunction with CIBJO, WJCEF and Branded Trust

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) will hold a champagne reception on Sunday, August 31, at the 2014 International Jewellery London trade show, in celebration of the upcoming launch of the association’s new course in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the jewellery professional, which it  developed in conjunction with CIBJO and its educational arm, the World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), and Branded Trust.

Gem-A’s new CSR course aims to provide the industry with an essential foundation for CSR which can be incorporated into any size business, no matter where it is located in the jewellery supply chain. The online course provides a series of interactive lectures, delivered by experts in all the relevant areas, and supplemented with readings, tests and a written essay; and provides a unique perspective on how to tackle issues of CSR in the jewellery industry.

Gem-A has been working with CIBJO, WJCEF and Branded Trust over the last year to help the jewellery industry realise the growing importance of CSR as an essential aspect of professional accreditation, and how it is becoming increasingly clear that customers now expect jewellery professionals to be able to advise on non-technical issues such as the source of jewellery components, and the social and environmental impact of their jewellery purchase.

The course aims to assist jewellers in this process by giving a structured outline of the benefits of CSR and how a range of businesses can use different tools and techniques to assist in implementing a CSR programme, building trust, and improving overall business performance.

“We are delighted to have ben part of the venture and congratulate Gem-A and Branded Trust for delivering to the industry a set of practical tools that are today essential in the business environment,” said Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President. “CSR needs to work at the grass roots level, and this is what is being done here.”

Gem-A’s Ethics Manager, Vivien Johnston, commented on the new CSR-focussed offering, saying: “Working alongside Branded Trust we have come up with a number of superb modules that give straight-forward, practical, and actionable advice for the jewellery professional to increase their company’s ethical value. For anyone serious about tracking the impact of their business practices and improving the areas, environments and communities they do business in, Gem-A and Branded Trust’s new CSR course can give real measurable advice on how to start becoming a more socially responsible company.”

These comments were echoed by Gem-A CEO James Riley, who discussed how Gem-A are aiming to be on the forefront of how CSR is introduced and measured within the jewellery industry, by saying: “For the last few years ‘Ethics’, and ideas about being ‘Ethical’, ‘Green’, or ‘Socially Responsible’ have been bandied around the jewellery industry like they’re going out of fashion. We think it’s great that the conversation about issues surrounding CSR and how we, as an industry, tackle them, has begun. However, problems remain with the industry being able to validate these claims with real practical measures for educating and tracking company policy and its impacts. Gem-A and Branded Trust hope to change this with an industry-wide push for the validation and accreditation of those committed to a socially responsible supply chain through a series of initiatives, starting with this new CSR-focussed professional qualification.”

Attendees of this year’s IJL show will be treated to a free glass of champagne and an exclusive first glimpse at the new course and the Branded Trust system at Gem-A stand J31 from 12.30 PM on Sunday, August 31. Early adopters are able to register their interest on the stand and make sure they’re the first students to officially enrol on the course, for a one-off fee of £595. The course also will be featured at Gem-A’s booth (3M046) at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, September 17-21.

The London-Based  Gemmological Association of Great Britain, or Gem-A, is the world’s longest established provider of gem education and a membership organisation that forms an international community of gem professionals and enthusiasts, whose goal is  to serve the best interests of the gem and jewellery industries worldwide through its commitment to supporting gemmological research and high educational and trade standards.

Australia-based Branded Trust is an academic group that engages with industry bodies, public sector organisations and social responsibility practitioners from companies of all sized to research and develop sensible and cost effective solutions to the challenges of understanding and implementing social responsibility. The Branded Trust Foundation has supported the development and testing of social responsibility tools such as the world’s first social responsibility management system and the world’s first automated ethical supply-chain and chain of custody solution.

For more information, please contact Gem-A via or +44(0)207 404 3334.