New Certification System Casts Sustainable Facet to Jewelry

New Certification System Casts Sustainable Facet to Jewelry

A new certification system for jewelry has been launched to ensure "responsible ethical, social and environmental practices throughout the diamond and gold jewelery supply chain."

The U.K.-based Responsible Jewellery Council's Certification System represents more than three years of solid engagement with all levels of the diamond and gold industries, according to its chairman, Matthew Runci, who is also President and CEO of Jewelers of America.

Open to all organizations in the diamond and gold supply chain and their trade associations, RJC membership has continued to grow through the RJC’s research and development phase to over 140 Members. “This growth in RJC’s membership is evidence of a strong, early commitment to consumer confidence. As Members become certified against the RJC’s requirements, they will be able to evidence responsible business practices through independent, third-party auditing of their companies,” says John Hall, RJC Vice-Chairman and General Manager, External Relations, Rio Tinto.

Open to all organizations in the diamond and gold supply chain and their trade associations, RJC membership has continued to grow through the RJC’s research and development phase to over 140 Members.

“This growth in RJC’s membership is evidence of a strong, early commitment to consumer confidence. As Members become certified against the RJC’s requirements, they will be able to evidence responsible business practices through independent, third-party auditing of their companies,” says John Hall, RJC Vice-Chairman and General Manager, External Relations, Rio Tinto.

The bedrock of the RJC System is the use of independent, third-party auditing to verify conformance with the RJC’s Code of Practices, making it objective, fair and transparent. The auditor accreditation process is underway and training is currently being delivered to RJC members through sector-specific webinars. The RJC Certification System recently completed its Mining Supplement standards. RJC Certification is now open to every type of business that contributes to the diamond and gold jewelery supply chain, from mine to retail.

“Having established the Code of Practices, the RJC is now turning its attention to issues surrounding the chain-of-custody, or traceability, of product. We believe that traceability can strengthen the integrity of the jewelery supply chain and we note that some RJC members have already implemented product tracking systems. The RJC will assist its members seeking to utilize chain of custody as a complementary element to the RJC certification process,” says Michael Rae, Chief Executive Officer, RJC.

A wide range of different industries (product types) effectively use a number of credible proprietary systems to trace goods from the point of origin, through supply chains and production processes and finally to retail. These tracking systems are prevalent in the food industry, e.g. organics, coffee and fish, but are also utilized in non-perishable goods sectors, such as clothing, timber and pharmaceuticals.