A new website for the 15th anniversary of the founding of the RJC and a 4th certification for Rubel & Ménasché!

Marianne Riou

 On March 16, 2020, Rubel & Ménasché obtained its 4th certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council, renewing it for 3 years. After its first certification in 2011, the Parisian diamond specialist was convinced of the need to adjust its processes to meet the strictest standards in terms of ethics, and social and environmental responsibility, so it has renewed its application 3 times.  

Demanding standards and challenge are amongst the key words that guide the actions of Rubel & Ménasché, an official supplier to the biggest international jewelers. After obtaining its 1st RJC certification, which made it the 5th member to do so at the level of the organization, the Parisian diamond specialist, which was a trailblazer at the time, has pursued its continuous improvement approach, imposing the highest standards on itself. Different documents have therefore been drafted to formalize the company’s processes—a Code of Conduct, a document specifying the purchasing conditions for suppliers, approval between Rubel & Ménasché and its suppliers, charters, etc.—and to ensure quality and the surpassing of standards at every level.

A new audit, conducted in 2020 on February 6 and 7, by qualified representatives from Ernst & Young, confirmed once again that Rubel & Ménasché meets the highest standards of the codes implemented by the RJC.  On March 16, the diamond specialist earned its 4th certification, which has been renewed for 3 years. This is recognition of the procedures implemented by Rubel & Ménasché to create a traceability and inspection chain for its exceptional diamonds, in compliance with the targets for sustainable development, responsible supply chain, human rights and due diligence criteria defended by the RJC. 

Finally, this 4th certification is yet another quality guarantee for its clients and partners. The future belongs to companies that are committed to social responsibility and ethics! It is no longer an option, it is now both a reality and a necessity…

What is the key to obtaining RJC certification? Continuous improvement 

On February 4, Rubel & Ménasché attended a workshop at the UFBJOP to understand how to best approach obtaining certification from the RJC.  The workshop was presented by Nawal Aït Hocine, who has been a consultant for the RJC since 2005, and paid particular attention to the developments in the new Code of Practices published on April 23, 2019. 
2020 is a big year for the Responsible Jewelry Council. The organization is celebrating its 15th birthday! It is the only body to guarantee such a level of ethical standards over the whole jewelry value chain, from the mine to the display case. The RJC now has more than 1,230 members (14 founder members), 10% of which are in France. The number of members has increased by 32% over the last three years. 
The Code of Practices was published and updated in 2009 and 2013, with the latest version released in 2019, and the COC (Chain Of Custody) in 2012, 2017 and 2020.
The Code of Practices was also revised in 2019 to meet, amongst other things, the Due Diligence Guide of the OECD, new criteria in terms of declaring lab-grown diamonds, respecting human rights in compliance with the United Nations’ Guiding Principles and respect for the environment, etc.
Good methods for obtaining certification from the RJC include: 
- making a written undertaking to implement the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Human Rights (and not just to “respect” them);
- drafting a (once again written) risk assessment, which is reasonable and credible, simple, but documented(assessment of partners at high risk for example); 
- appointing people who are responsible for ensuring compliance with ethical standards;
- for diamonds, applying the KP guarantee system;
- ensuring that all the certificates and guarantee systems implemented are documented (e.g. Canadamark™diamonds);
- undertaking an annual assessment that describes the company’s responsible purchasing policy and its development (N.B. the quantity and the nature of the information to be provided depend on the place and the position of each participant in the supply chain), etc.
If there is one thing to remember, it is that the key to RJC certification lies in the continuous improvement implemented by the audited company.  The management may be less than perfect, but if the risks and standards implemented are demonstrated, documented, and challenged for self-improvement, then the company is heading in the right direction.
In other news, to mark the 15th anniversary of its creation, the RJC has just inaugurated a new logo and a new website, which is more modern, easier to use and more educational. It is now easier to find the Code of Practices and other support documents (self-assessment guide and tool), the latest news, actions in the field and other members. On May 22, the non-profit organization also elected new members. They included Feriel Zerouki, Honorary Treasurer of the RJC and Senior Vice President of International Relations and Ethical Initiatives at De Beers, and Matthew Kilgariff, Honorary Secretary and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Richemont. A new board, including Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the RJC, is expecting support and concrete assistance to move towards harmonizing the standards to meet the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Source Rubel & Ménasché 

Photos © Rubel & Ménasché, RJC, DR.