12 May 2020

Gemfields Unveils Initiative Uniting Top Luxury Brands and Mining Gemstones Companies Around a Shared Vision for the Gemstones and Jewellery Industry

Gemfields unveils a new initiative in collaboration with world leading jewellery makers and gemstone mining companies including Chopard, Kering, LVMH, The Muzo Companies, Richemont, Swarovski, and Tiffany & Co.

After five years of close collaboration towards a shared vision for a responsible industry, the ‘Coloured Gemstones Working Group’ (CGWG), first established in 2015, makes today its public debut with the inauguration of the website www.gemstones-and-jewellery.com. The coloured gemstone industry is a fascinating, diverse and multi-layered industry that plays a vital economic role for millions of people around the world. Valued for their role in fine jewellery and for their intrinsic beauty, coloured gemstones have always been the object of admiration across cultures, continents and generations. More than 200 types of gemstones are used in jewellery, mostly sourced from artisanal and small-scale operators and traded through a largely informal economy. Each coloured gemstone has a unique supply chain. In such a diverse industry mostly based on small scale and family-run businesses including artisanal miners, cutters and polishers, traders, and manufacturers, there can be no one-size-fits-all solution. The website offers a sneak peek into the heart of the collaboration, the soon-to-be launched Gemstones and Jewellery Community Platform, an initiative sponsored by the CGWG to provide access to free resources and tools, created and tested through the engagement of over 150 businesses over the last three years. The resources and tools will support businesses of all type, size, and shape, in their efforts to build knowledge and capacity around key sustainability topics, implement their learning, and demonstrate their efforts towards improving social, environmental, and governance performances. The initiative focuses on learning and on continuous improvement; an acknowledgment that real change takes time, but that together we can move one step further along the journey towards a sustainable industry. Dr. Assheton Stewart Carter, CEO of TDI Sustainability, the advisory firm that represents the CGWG, says, “The responsible sourcing movement is a powerful force that has the potential to bring transformative change and improve the lives of many people deep in the coloured gemstone supply chain. The objective must be to make sustainability familiar and accessible to even the smallest businesses and the individual crafts person”. The CGWG has been collaborating, and continues to collaborate, with industry bodies and associations including the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), in an effort to avoid duplications and inefficiencies and contribute to the harmonisation of the industry, and promotes the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. Carter adds, “To have a truly sustainable footprint, industry collaboration is the only way forward. The CGWG has taken a step to provide the tools and information to help achieve this goal, but it is only the first step. The next steps in this journey need to be taken in tandem with others and we invite businesses large and small as well as consumers to engage in this vital process and join our Platform”. To learn more about the Platform and register your interest, visit www.gemstones-and-jewellery.com