CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has announced the establishment of an industry-wide working committee to formulate Responsible Sourcing Guidelines specifically for the jewelry, gem and precious metals sectors.
The new body was created by the CIBJO Board of Directors in March following Board approval of a draft Responsible Sourcing Guidelines document.
When ratified, the guidelines will have the status of a CIBJO Blue Book, and are intended to provide a general framework for responsible sourcing practices, serving as a roadmap for all industry participants. The guidelines will be voluntary recommendations for members of the sector, and will not constitute a standard or compliance mechanism by CIBJO. This means that members of the industry who would like certification or any other formal recognition of their implementation of responsible sourcing policies will need to do so through an internationally recognised standards organisation, such as the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
The proposed CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Guidance will follow the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, and also supports the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The Responsible Sourcing Committee, chaired by CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, includes senior CIBJO officials from various industry sectors, as well as representatives of other industry organisations, including the RJC, with which CIBJO has a Memorandum of Understanding. The core Guidance document, which was approved by the CIBJO board in March 2018, was prepared by Philip Olden, a former managing director at the World Gold Council, who is an expert on responsible sourcing strategies in the precious metals and jewelry sector, and consults with major industry bodies in formulating their own responsible sourcing policies, CIBJO said.
“Our objective is to formulate harmonised industry guidance as to what constitutes responsible sourcing and how it should be approached,” said Cavalieri. “Because we work in a business in which the supply chain almost always comprises multiple players, it is essential that we operate according to the same principles. Moreover, we strongly believe that all participants in the industry, small and large, should be able to demonstrate the integrity in their supply chain to the best of their ability, and the element of inclusiveness will lie at the heart of this document.”