Responsible Sourcing Guidance: Responsible Sourcing Certification2021-04-21T17:32:52+00:00


Introduction to Responsible Sourcing Mechanisms

Responsible Sourcing Certification is an assurance mechanism that helps signal to a company’s stakeholders that it is meeting a set of environmental, social and ethical markers that are desirable or required, according to the system by which the company is being certified.

Achieving a certification requires a commitment of company resources, to put in place requisite systems and procedures and also, in many cases, to pay for external auditors or assessors to verify the business’ performance.

Not all industry participants have the capacity to have their supply chains certified immediately, according to industry guidance and standards.

Among the independent standards and certification mechanisms offered to the market are those of the the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), the SCS Responsible Source Standard, and the London Bullion Market Association (LMBA).

CIBJO Guidance about Responsible Sourcing Certification

CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Policy is a recommendation and guidance to the jewellery and gemstone sectors, and is intended to provide a “duty of care” in the jewellery industry supply chains, recognising that it will be implemented as a process of continuous improvement, and may vary considerably between different companies, supply chains and sectors.

CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Policy does not constitute a standard or a compliance mechanism by which Responsible Sourcing Certification can be obtained.

CIBJO recognises that not all jewellery and gemstone members’ supply chains will be able to be certified immediately against industry guidance and standards, especially due to the continuous improvement principles outlined in the CIBJO Policy. However, if a CIBJO member selects to be certified or otherwise recognised in accordance with CIBJO’s policy, CIBJO recommends that the member become certified by appropriate international standards organisations.

CIBJO provides a list of relevant standards and guidance as as part of this toolkit. This list may not be comprehensive and will be continually refreshed as part of CIBJO’s guidance updates.

Members should include the CIBJO Policy and the company’s due diligence procedures, supported by this toolkit, as part of the scope of the relevant certification.

CIBJO recommends that Responsible Sourcing certification be validated by independent third party audit companies which specialise in responsible sourcing.

Preparing for Responsible Sourcing Certification

For companies choosing to pursue Responsible Sourcing Certification, CIBJO recommends that the following steps be taken:

  1. Assign a senior manager to be responsible for external certifications
    The first task of the  responsible manager would to be to help decide which certifications a business should pursue, if any. This decision may be different for each business, largely depending on size and function.
  2. Prepare for certification
    If a business decides to pursue a certification from an external certification mechanism, it should then undertake all necessary steps required by the certification mechanism and be validated by an independent third-party audit company, which specialises in responsible sourcing. Such steps may include the collection of relevant documentation and making such documentation available to the auditor, remotely and/or on site.
  3. Write a statement
    The statement would explain the certification(s) the business has obtained and which due diligence standards it has chosen to adopt. The CIBJO Policy and the company’s due diligence procedures should be included in this statement. This statement should be posted on the company’s website and can also be shared with its business partners, such as suppliers, as well as customers, and other stakeholders throughout the supply chain .
  4. Stay up to date with CIBJO’s list of relevant standards and guidance
    This should be done by checking periodically to see if the list has changed.