RESPONSIBLE SOURCING AND SUSTAINABILITY
The Responsible Sourcing Commission’s session was moderated by the body’s President, Philip Olden, who asked his panel of guests if enough was being done by the industry on the subject of responsible sourcing, and if not what else should be done.
Opening the session, Mr. Olden mentioned that CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission’s Blue Book was the most downloaded of all such documents since the start of the pandemic, and reported that in April 2021 CIBJO launched an online Responsible Sourcing Toolkit, “which will enable members of the industry to do due diligence on their supply chains.”
The Responsible Sourcing Toolkit can be downloaded from the CIBJO website free of charge, by CLICKING HERE.
Among the panellists was Lila Karbassi, Chief of Programmes at the UN Global Compact, which unites some 14,000 firms and organisations from a wide range of industries, working to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Speaking to the CIBJO delegates, she called on the jewellery industry to do its part in the campaign against climate change.
“See if your targets align with science,” she stated. “By 2030 you need to reduce emissions by almost half, and by 2050 significantly more. We look forward to validating company results, and we hope many firms from the jewellery industry will join us and create a momentum for the industry overall to be on track regarding climate change.”
Panellist Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council, described the jewellery industry as being at a “tipping point.”
“We have to get everyone on this journey,” she stated. “How do we bring all members of the supply chain along? This is the challenge. We need to step up a gear and show collectively the good impact of the business.”
Panellist Chie Murakami, the founder of Diamonds for Peace, an NGO based in Japan, said that the commitment to responsible sourcing is largely “a Western thing, which needs to be spread to other parts of the world”. She mentioned visits to jewellery stores in Tokyo where no members of sales staff could provide firm answers on the issue of the sourcing of the jewellery.
She also spoke about diamond smuggling in Liberia, where her organisation is active. “The government does not have the resources to monitor this sufficiently,” she said. “It patrols mines looking for illegal activities, with inspectors that often are unpaid volunteers. The government needs more resources.”
Lila Karbassi, Chief of Programmes at the UN Global Compact, in discussion with Philip Olden, President of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission.