A Chopard Eco-Age Futures Roundtable with the INYT: Sustainable Solutions in Luxury Jewellery

9th July 2015

Hôtel Talleyrand, Paris

Hosted by Caroline Scheufele (Co-President, Chopard) Stephen Dunbar-Johnson (President International, New York Times Company) and Livia Firth (Creative Director, Eco-Age) the Roundtable was held in the stunning surroundings of the US Embassy’s Hôtel Talleyrand, in Paris in the very room where The Marshall Plan was conceived and developed.

The aim of the Eco-Age Futures roundtable was to identify solutions and forge partnerships and strategies for the future of the industry – throughout the supply chain. The focus was on three crucial topics currently facing the jewellery and watch industry.

– Transparency and traceability in the jewellery supply chain.

– How mining companies can differentiate a more ‘sustainable’ commodity.

Consumer awareness and relevance of sustainability in consumer behaviour.

Delegates, represented large and small scale mining in diamonds, gold and coloured gemstones, refiners, independent thought leaders and jewellers, as well as mining gemmological and overall jewellery industry bodies, all at board level.

Notably, it was agreed that to create a sustainable industry, light will need to be shed on previously unseen supply chains. This will increase accountability and drive improvement in the key risk areas of child / forced labour, health & safety and environmental damage. The long term goal is to improve traceability and transparency throughout global jewellery supply chains.

Key priority areas for collective development were agreed;

– The closure of the finance gap, within existing standards, to allow incentives to be paid pre-certification, encouraging improvements at mine level.

– The cross recognition and harmonisation between standards used in the supply chain. A collective programme would reduce costs, encourage the participation and increase positive impacts in mining communities.

– The simplification of existing standards, without reducing their credibility and robustness. This would attract more miners, increase the volume of certified gold and build trust across the jewellery sector.

– The continued development of business partnerships with government as the key to optimising the effectiveness of standards. As much revenue is transferred to governments, transparency is imperative, not just at the top of the supply chain, but also within government agencies.

– Increased traceability in the coloured gemstones industry and how strategic partnership can improve traceability and transparency.

Leadership and its importance to the whole process. CEOs and leaders across the supply chain need to champion sustainability and social justice as an imperative.

Outcomes from the Eco-Age Futures roundtable will inform further debates beginning with the International New York Times luxury conference in Versailles in November 17-18, 2015.