The two luxury giants and the Responsible Jewellery Council have partnered on an industry-first initiative to broaden and strengthen efforts to transform the jewelry industry for climate resilience, with the SDGs at their core.
While individual companies — including Pandora and Tiffany & Co — have been working on their own sustainability initiatives, Kering and Cartier’s Watch & Jewelry Initiative 2030 is the first to bring the industry together with a set ambitious and common objectives in three areas:
building climate resilience
preserving resources, and
“As the watch and jewellery sector relies on the earth’s precious resources and people’s know-how around the world within its value chains, the imperative to act together in creating a more positive impact has become ever clearer,” said Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier. “We are thrilled to join efforts towards a more sustainable industry together with Kering, in partnership with the Responsible Jewellery Council — and to invite other industry actors to join this initiative. More than ever, we remain committed to share our common vision of a future where all Maisons, their suppliers and business partners are empowered to collaborate on projects that deliver positive impact on the planet and its people.”
Owner of a renowned stable of fashion, leather goods, jewelry and watch brands including: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Boucheron and Pomellato, Kering has long been at the forefront of sustainable luxury — setting the bar with its environmental profit & loss framework and open-sourcing it in 2015; and last year, releasing a detailed roadmap toward its goal to have a net-positive impact on biodiversity by 2025.
“At Kering, we believe that luxury is inseparable from the highest environmental and social standards; and that it is our responsibility, as leading luxury players, to initiate the changes that are needed to protect our planet,” said Jean-François Palus, Group Managing Director of Kering. “We have long been convinced that only collective action can make the difference to transform our industry for the better. For watch and jewellery, just like for fashion, we believe that committing collectively to a common core of quantified environmental objectives focusing on a few themes is the best way to really have an impact. The changes we are fighting for are essential for the future, not only of the planet but of our industry itself.”
While focusing on its three thematic priorities, the 2030 initiative strongly commits to transparency with the requirement to report on progress on a regular basis. It will also support members in meeting growing expectations of stakeholders — including consumers, civil society, and regulators — of exemplary environmental, social and ethical practices.
Goal 1: Building climate resilience
The first goal is about taking priority actions to reduce carbon emissions in line with a 1.5°C pathway, to achieve net zero by 2030. As a minimum commitment, brands joining the initiative should submit science-based emission-reduction targets for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) by 2022. Signatories must also demonstrate their work to help vulnerable populations in the watch and jewellery industry value chain and contribute to low-carbon solutions for these communities.
Goal 2: Preserving resources for nature and communities
The second goal is to ensure that the industry’s sourcing has a positive impact on nature and communities. As a minimum commitment by 2022, participating brands should measure and prioritize their impact on biodiversity and water across their sourcing of key raw materials, using a credible science-based framework.
Further commitments include implementing action plans to reduce water and biodiversity impacts by 2025, by:
Implementing sourcing standards that protect natural ecosystems and the services they provide to local and indigenous peoples — including ensuring that supply chains are free of products sourced from ancient and endangered forests, restoring habitats where mining and other extraction activities have occurred, and developing local livelihoods for mining and farming communities that respect the balance of natural ecosystems.
Creating a new industry mindset focused on sustainable innovation and circularity in materials, products and practices in the industry.
Goal 3: Fostering inclusiveness across value chains
As a minimum commitment, brands joining the initiative should join the RJC and become Code of Practices (COP)-certified in two years. Commitments on this front include ensuring COP certification for Tier 1 and 2 suppliers by 2030 and eliminating the exposure of employee and nature to toxic chemical risks; increasing action on diversity, equity and inclusion; and contributing to the preservation and transmission of craftsmanship and industry know-how and support the upward mobility of our workforce as manufacturing and workplaces become increasingly digitized.
The Responsible Jewellery Council is the leading standards organization of the global jewellery and watch industry. It has 1,500 member companies in 71 countries, which span the jewellery supply chain from mine to retail. RJC Members commit to and are independently audited against the RJC Code of Practices — an international standard on responsible business practices for diamonds, colored gemstones, silver, gold and platinum group metals. The Code of Practices (COP) addresses human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure and many more important topics in the jewellery supply chain.
In 2020, RJC and the UN Global Compact began a first-of-its-kind strategic initiative — the “SDG Innovation & Impact in the Jewellery Industry” program. In 2021, RJC deepened this commitment by supporting the UNGC SDG Ambition initiative to accelerate integration of the 17 SDGs into core business management; and launched the SDG Taskforce — an industry-wide action platform to advance the sustainability agenda and benchmark progress in the jewellery and watch supply chain.
“The UN’s 2030 Agenda is about leaving no one behind. Business can be a force for positive change and impact by supporting a global economy that protects people, the planet and the natural systems that sustain us,” said RJC Executive Director Iris Van der Veken. “The RJC is determined to help business be a force for that change through transformative partnerships. By working together, we can greatly contribute to the urgent change needed to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in this ‘Decade of Action’ and create a better fairer world by 2030.”