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As an extension of our Responsible Jewellery Council membership, we decided to go a step further in committing to the Journey to Sustainable Luxury, a long-term programme to ensure responsible sourcing throughout our supply chain. Given that every material generates different environmental and social impacts, we apply due diligence in compliance with international standards, always seeking robust certifications and membership requirements to ensure that key material issues and related risks are properly addressed. Our materials are sourced in line with the requirements of the Chopard Code of Conduct for Partners, which covers a wide range of environmental and social criteria.
Gold is the raw material most widely used in our production. It is due to this that we devoted particular attention to ensuring that one of the biggest milestones of our Journey to Sustainable Luxury would be the sourcing of responsibly mined gold for our entire watch and jewelry production. This objective has been successfully met since July 2018 when Chopard began using 100% Ethically produced gold - verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards - in its workshops.
More specifically, our Ethical Gold is sourced through two transparent and traceable schemes:
- Artisanal freshly mined gold produced in a responsible manner
- Chain of Custody Gold from RJC-Certified refineries
Artisanal and small-scale mining involves millions of men and women worldwide, working on an individual basis, in family groups or cooperatives, using relatively simple methods of exploration, extraction and processing. Responsibly extracted gold from artisanal and small-scale mines is essential to our sourcing strategy, as it allows us to have full traceability from mine to market, while contributing to a positive socio-economic and environmental impact.
The artisanal and small-scale gold we purchase is sourced from mines located in Peru and Colombia, all participating either in the Swiss Better Gold initiative or in Fairmined and Fairtrade certification schemes.
The Fairmined Standard requires the miners to demonstrate that strict requirements for working conditions (including the prohibition of child labour) social development criteria and environmental protection are maintained during the mining process. We were directly responsible for a number of small scale mines achieving Fairmined certification, provided training, new processing plants and social and environmental support to help mines achieve the certification.
The Swiss Better Gold Association, a not-for-profit initiative created by Swiss players, from refiners to retailers in the gold supply chain, aims at creating a simple market-driven mechanism that enables formalized gold miners to adopt more socially inclusive and better environmental practices. Some 6,200 miners, both men and women, have benefited from the Swiss Better Gold Association, by complying with Swiss Better Gold Association criteria or its certification systems. In addition, 31,000 people have been helped indirectly thanks to improvements in the incomes of mining families and their communities*.
Ahead of our commitment to achieving 100% Ethical Gold, our Maison joined the Swiss Better Gold Association as early as 2017 and has been represented on the Board of Directors since 2020.
(*Source: Report from Mine to Market – A Value Chain of Responsible Gold, SECO and the Swiss Better Gold Association 2017-2021, p.10).
Artisanal and small-scale gold today represents 40% of our fine gold sourcing. Our objective is to increase this proportion to over 60% by 2022.
As early as 1978, we were one of the first manufacturers to equip ourselves with our own foundry. Thanks to this independent approach, we are not only able to guarantee the origin of the gold we use in our production, but are above all able to directly resmelt gold scraps and production waste in order to recycle our unused material.
Encouraged by this approach to recycling our gold scraps, we created our second Ethical Gold supply chain by purchasing gold through RJC Chain of Custody (CoC)-certified refineries.
The RJC CoC Standard sets out requirements for the identification and tracking of ‘Eligible Material’, such as recycled gold screened and confirmed as originating from eligible recyclable sources.
The diamond sector has undergone significant transformations over the past 15 years. Today, the Kimberley Process has been successful in virtually eliminating conflict diamonds from the market. It now embodies the most successful international consensus agreement in terms of regulating diamond mining. In the same vein, the Responsible Jewellery Council has provided effective standards and codes of practice for the industry to self-regulate.
At Chopard, we support and follow the principles for transparency stipulated by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties. We have also put in place a self-regulation initiative for all diamond suppliers, requiring them to refrain from buying or selling conflict diamonds, diamonds from suspect or unknown sources, as well as diamonds from countries and regions that have not implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Stones not complying with this scheme are immediately refused.
Unlike diamonds, colored stones were not subject to any international regulations to guarantee their traceability and mining conditions. Since 2019, the Responsible Jewellery Council has included colored gemstones in its certification scope.
At Chopard we continually strive to increase the overall sustainability performance of our collections while working closely with our sourcing partners to ensure the greatest possible transparency with regard to the provenance of coloured gemstones.
Well aware of the numerous challenges associated with the responsible sourcing of colored gemstones, we joined the Coloured Gemstones Working Group (CGWG) in 2019, a unique alliance between the world's leading luxury jewelry brands and gemstone mining companies that intends to improve and make corporate sustainability accessible to all in the gemstone industry. The main goal is to provide relevant and appropriate educational, training and management resources as well as expert support to enable any business in the colored gemstone supply chain to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and participate in a responsible and transparent industry.
Because ethical concerns should not focus exclusively on gold, our Journey to Sustainable Luxury also extends to straps and leather goods accessories. Consequently, we are committed to building internal standards covering traceability, social and environmental impact as well as animal welfare with regard to other key raw materials such as leather.
We work closely with our strap suppliers to map our supply chain, including full traceability requirements for all tanneries and visibility in terms of the slaughterhouses and breeding farms in various countries.
The SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is a unique collaborative community that works with ocean clean-up programs around the world to transform the marine litter they recover into Upcycled Marine Plastic; a new, fully traceable raw material with the power to raise awareness of the issue of marine pollution and highlight those helping to fight it. In choosing products containing Upcycled Marine Plastic, you are helping to clean our oceans.
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