The EThical Performance Of Luxury Jewellery Brands .


The Ethical Performance of Luxury Jewellery Brands Uplifting the Earth1

AcknowledgementsThe report was written by Ian Doyle and Jem Bendell of Lifeworth Consulting. They thank all the experts whoparticipated in the study for their contribution in shaping a more responsible jewellery sector. The experts andtheir affiliations are as follows:Greg Valerio Founder of CRED Jewellery, co-founder of the Alliance for Responsible Mining(ARM) and co-founder of Fair Jewelry ActionMarc ChoytPresident of Reflective Images and co-founder of Fair Jewelry ActionVeerle van Wauwe Founder of Transparence SA and member of RJC standards committeePatrick Schein Founder of S&P Trading and board member of ARMLuc Zandvliet Director at Triple R AllianceCristina Echavarria Executive Director ARM and member of RJC mining supplement consultative panelSaleem Ali Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont’sRubenstein School of Environment and Natural ResourcesSonya Maldar Steering Committee member of Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)Ian Smillie Chair, Diamond Development Initiative, and a founder of the Kimberley Process.Member of RJC standards and mining supplement consultative panel.Jennifer HorningGold Programme Manager, Solidaridad, and organiser of the 2007 Ethical JewellerySummit. Member of RJC standards consultative panel.Estelle Levin Director of Estelle Levin Ltd., a boutique development consultancy specialisingin sustainability and minerals supply chains. Member of RJC Chain of CustodyStandard and Mining Supplement Consultative Panels.Special thanks also goes to Nicky Black for her input on the sustainability risks and opportunities associatedwith business activity in Myanmar. An Independent Research Consultant at time of writing, she is currently theCorporate Citizenship Manager, External and Corporate Affairs, of De Beers UK Ltd. Her particular expertiseis in constructive corporate engagement in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. In 2010, she completed adoctorate on Strategic Management, focusing on corporate citizenship in the oil and gas sector in Myanmar.The authors also thank Emma Irwin for orienting them on issues related to responsible mining, and JannaGreve for her research assistance. Mark Dunhill and Sarah Faberge also provided important feedback on theresearch. This project could not have been completed without the help of Jum Balea in editing the report,Leanne Jazul for the report design, Gabriella Orosz for her advice on report design, Elisabeth Baraka at A4IDfor co-ordinating legal assistance and Ellen Hughes-Jones at Bristows for her legal expertise.We are also grateful to the following people who kindly allowed us to use their images: CRED Jewellery, GregValerio, Christian Cheesman, Patrick Schein ( and Brigitte Fortin.

The Ethical Performance of Luxury Jewellery Brands Uplifting the EarthLifeworth Consulting is aninternational network ofindependent associatesworking to advance responsible enterprise forsustainable development.Lifeworth helps clients in establishing moreresponsible and sustainable practices, productsand services. This creates value throughreducing risk, stimulating commitment, andgenerating opportunities.Lifeworth provides strategy, communications,liaison, inspiration and education servicesfor clients at various stages of their evolutiontowards responsible enterprise. Starting withresponsible enterprise strategy development andleadership, Lifeworth accompanies organisationsin implementing greater corporate responsibilityacross the value chain as well as creating simpleprocesses to monitor change, providing themeans to report on performance.Since 2007, Lifeworth has had a particular focuson the luxury sector and created the AuthenticLuxury Network ( tofacilitate exchange amongst professionals on thesubject of luxury and sustainability.Fair Jewelry Action (FJA) is ahuman rights and environmentaljustice network within the jewellery sector. FJA promotesethical and fair trade jewellerybusiness by advocating traceabilityand transparency in the jewellery supply chain. FJA’s objective is to direct more of theeconomic contribution of the jewellery sectortoward regenerating local economies in smallscale artisan producer communities, as well assupporting their cultural integrity and assuringenvironmental sustainability.FJA’s activities focus on being a driving forceand voice to consumers with the aim ofmaking ethically and fairly traded jewellery theonly moral choice. FJA will support jewellersby connecting them with the source of theirmaterial and enabling them to see the social,environmental and market advantage ofproviding ethical products.FJA does this through three principleaction streams: education, campaigning forindigenous peoples affected by mining andproducer support of small-scale miners forFairtrade certification com/consult3


The Ethical Performance of Luxury Jewellery Brands Uplifting the EarthList of AcronymsARM Alliance for Responsible MiningASM Artisanal and Small-scale MiningBMPBureau for Minerals and PetroleumCSR Corporate Social ResponsibilityDDI Diamond Development InitiativeDTC Diamond Trading CompanyFLO Fairtrade Labelling OrganisationGAFGlobal Action FoundationGRGolden RulesGRIGlobal Reporting InitiativeIRMA Initiative for Responsible Mining AssuranceISEAL International Social and EnvironmentalAccreditation and LabellingISO International Organisation for StandardisationFJA Fair Jewelry ActionJoAJewelers of AmericaLSM Large Scale MiningKPCSKimberley Process Certification SchemeNDG No Dirty GoldNGO Non Government OrganisationRJC Responsible Jewellery CouncilSEC Securities and Exchange CommissionSoW System of WarrantiesTAWOMATanzania Women Miners AssociationTNGTrue North GemsUNHCR United Nations Refugee AgencyWDC World Diamond Council5

6Uplifting the Earth The Ethical Performance of Luxury Jewellery BrandsForewordAs we realise the problemswith growing poverty andenvironmental degradation,we can feel overwhelmed. Notonly do we know it is our jointresponsibility to address theseproblems, but we also knowthat our generation is potentiallythe last one that can take actionto avert environmental catastrophe. Business leaderstoday have the opportunity to play a major role andare on the spot to take action for change.Science, regulation and consumer pressure are threepillars that support change. We need scientists tohelp us understand how environmental problemsand poverty came about and how they can besolved. We need laws and regulation to facilitate andaccelerate change. People who buy luxury jewelleryare often motivated by a desire to celebrate or by anact of gratitude, and because they trust the value ofthe piece. Such clients are naturally thoughtful aboutthe nature of the beautiful items they buy.However, information on product traceability is notyet widespread, and is not a legal requirement.If it were, it would have a great impact on buyingdecisions. People have the right to know more aboutthe products that they buy and the environmentaland social impact they leave. As this report shows,efforts to create traceability in jewellery supply chainsare much needed and should be supported anddeveloped by industry leaders, who fully understandthe power that consumers have in making adifference. Environmental problems and povertycan be mitigated through a well informed publicsupported in making the right choices.More leaders in the luxury goods industry, includingjewellery brands, are taking note of these newconsumer interests. Industry executives are awareof the discerning behaviour of their target marketand their sophisticated clientele. In response, wehave seen more industry leaders take action toensure their supply chains are more responsible bysupporting the Kimberley Process and working withinitiatives such as, the Responsible Jewellery Counciland No Dirty Gold. All of these have contributed tomoving us forward, but we have much further to go ifwe are to ensure that the jewellery industry makes apositive difference to sustainable development.In Change, an OpportunityBased on my experience in leading change in ajewellery business, I am convinced that there is muchmore work to do on our social and environmentalperformance. This industry, maybe because it sellsproducts that last forever, often has difficulty inthinking outside the usual frame, in engaging newpeople, in trying new practices or in anticipating newconsumer values.I learned that a good manager must have thehumility and intelligence to continuously analysestrategy so that it can be adapted or even changed.This is because the environment is in a state ofincreasingly rapid flux, and only those who cananticipate movements will prosper. This is particularlyrelevant to the luxury industry, which needs toanticipate trends and recognise new opinion leaders.Firmness and flexibility are advantages in an industrywhere arrogance reigns supreme.That is why this report from pioneers in responsiblejewellery analysis and advice, Lifeworth Consultingand Fair Jewelry Action, is an invaluable contributionfor wise, forward-thinking executives in our evolvingindustry. Co-written by the lead author of the seminalWWF report on sustainable luxury, Jem Bendell,this report is an authoritative assessment of currentpractice as well as leading innovation in ethicalexcellence.Uplifting the Earth comes at the right time to facilitatethe sharing of best practices. Often industry bestperformers and entrepreneurial companies do not todisclose information about their initiatives. They areafraid that disclosure would trigger suspicion amongconsumers and accusations of ‘green-washing’. Ifwhat does not get measured does not get managed,this report is great news for the industry. Assessingthe social and environmental performance of luxuryjewellery brands, and sharing that information, isa useful move to accelerate change and refocusattention on issues that are as much a businessconsideration as an ethical one.María Eugenia GirónFormer Carrera y Carrera CEO and author of “InsideLuxury” (LID Editorial, 2010)

The Ethical Performance of Luxury Jewellery Brands Uplifting the Earth7ExecutiveSummaryLuxury jewellery brands have alwayssought to set new standards. Consumerconcerns over the ethical sourcing ofgemstones and precious metals havepushed luxury jewellery brands toredefine business excellence. Corporateresponsibility, therefore, needs to beintegrated as a core business function tonot only address these concerns, but alsoencourage more responsible aspirationsacross the sector and within society.This report is an analysis of how ten leading luxuryjewellery brands are addressing their corporateresponsibility, particularly the sourcing of gemstonesand precious metals. By benchmarking Boucheron,Buccellati, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, GraffDiamonds, Harry Winston, Piaget and Van Cleef &Arpels, the report highlights various levels of corporate responsibility engagement. Boucheron andCartier are the most active brands in trying to address the ethical, social and environmental aspectsof their business throughout the supply chain, whilethe remaining brands are either inactive or only partially active.Twelve key findings include:1Information on social and environmental performance is difficult to obtain from luxury jewellerycompanies, indicating a general lack of transparency.This despite the fact that many of the brands aremembers of an international, not-for-profit organisation called the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC),which seeks to restore consumer and stakeholderconfidence within the jewellery sector. With limitedinformation available to the public, consumers areunable to assess how brands are contributing to amore just and sustainable world. As a gemstone withexcellent transparency demonstrates superior quality,greater corporate transparency can be a source ofexcellence for luxury jewellery brands.2Gemstone clarity is also an indicator of superiorquality and this is no different from the clarity ofcorporate communication. Brands that improve theclarity of their disclosure demonstrate excellence.Better contextualisation is one way to enhance clarity. For instance, when a brand states that it supportsconflict-free diamond sourcing through the initiativeThe results of the study suggest that the majorreasons for the overall poor performance includean inadequate focus on traceability and pro-poordevelopment issues, insufficient transparency, theemphasis on safety rather than opportunity, andlimited attention to relationships. The reason for thislack of leadership is argued to be the absence of apositive vision for responsible jewellery. Although adecade of effort to reduce conflict and environmentaldamage from jewellery supply chains has curbedpoor practices, it has not yet shaped an aspirationalrole for jewellery. The focus has been on risk reduction, rather than delivering positive outcomes. Byexamining efforts of responsible jewellery pioneers,this report outlines a vision of ethical excellence inluxury jewellery, where brands can literally ‘Uplift theEarth’ by providing decent work, building communityand restoring environments.The jewellery industry hasexcelled in transforming theearth’s minerals into objectsof exquisite character

8Uplifting the Earth The Ethical Performance of Luxury Jewellery Brandsknown as the Kimberley Process (KPCS), how doesit actually support it? This statement is hollow in lightof the legal obligations in place which force brandsto purchase diamonds within the KPCS framework.How do brands ensure that the mines from wherethey sour

role for jewellery. The focus has been on risk reduc-tion, rather than delivering positive outcomes. By examining efforts of responsible jewellery pioneers, this report outlines a vision of ethical excellence in luxury jewellery, where brands can literally ‘uplift the earth’ by providing decent work, building community and restoring environments.