The Jewelry Industry Summit, a forum on sustainability and responsible sourcing, closed with commitments to pursue projects including harmonization of various standards and educating workers in the industry.
Large and small companies from across the jewelry pipeline attended the inaugural summit in New York from March 11 to 13, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of State and other organizations such as banks and accountants.
Among the new initiatives is a standards and harmonization committee to align and coordinate existing standards and give companies access to them so that individual firms will not repeat work already accomplished by others in the industry, according to a statement March 17.
Committees will also be set up to tackle how to educate jewelry sales associates about responsible sourcing, carry out research on consumer attitudes to sourcing and sustainability in the jewelry supply chain and use new media to communicate the sector’s accomplishments.
Specific commitments included helping gem cutters in developing countries who need education and equipment to avoid silicosis, a disease that occurs from inhaling stone dust. Another initiative was to start an artisanal colored-gem mining site project in Brazil that adheres to responsible social, ethical and environment practices, the statement said.