At Chopard, we aim to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the origins of our products and we endeavor to ensure that our high-quality materials are responsibly sourced by our dedicated procurement teams. All materials generate different environmental and social impacts, so we look for different standards, certifications and membership requirements for each of them, in order to make sure the key material issues for each are properly addressed.
Our materials are sourced in line with the requirements of the Chopard Code of Conduct for Partners, covering a wide range of environmental and social criteria.
We are committed to demonstrating industry leadership in the responsible sourcing of gold for all collections. As evidence of this, we have committed to sourcing 100% ethical gold. This means that 100% of the refined gold we purchase comes from sources that are verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards. This commitment has been successfully certified as a provenance claim by our auditor during our last RJC certification audit in 2019. Since July 2018, our ethical gold has been responsibly sourced from one of two traceable routes:
Artisanal freshly mined gold from small-scale mines participating in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fairmined and Fairtrade schemes.
The Fairmined Standard requires ASM organisations 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. In 2017, we were the single largest buyer of Fairmined gold, and since then we have bought over 85% of Fairmined gold
Chopard joined SBGA in 2017 in order to further increase its contribution in artisanal gold miners’ improvement initiatives and therefore contribute to a further growth of volumes of responsibly extracted gold. The SBGA supports the implementation of a number of international initiatives, such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, which guides companies to ensure that their mineral sourcing does not finance conflicts.
RJC Chain of Custody gold, through our partnership with RJC-certified refineries.
We are a proud Member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The Responsible Jewellery Council is a standards-setting organisation that has been established to reinforce consumer confidence in the jewellery industry by promoting responsible practices throughout the jewellery supply chain. The Responsible Jewellery Council has developed a common platform of standards for the jewellery supply chain and credible mechanisms for verifying responsible business practices through third party auditing. We commit to operating our business according to the Responsible Jewellery Council Principles and Code of Practices.
The RJC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard is an initiative that assesses the entire supply-chain from mine to retail, addressing key issues such as, but not limited to, human rights, labour rights, environmental impacts, and product disclosure. The standard requires companies to have a policy and risk management frameworks for conflict sensitive sourcing practices, drawing on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Affected and High-Risk Areas. It also sets the requirements for confirming the eligibility of CoC materials and its segregation and transfer.
The full traceability of our gold supply chain is also ensured through our operating model, based on a closed-loop system, which allows us to recycle up to 70% of our pre-consumer gold scraps or ‘production waste’ in our own internal foundry.
Chopard supports and follows the principles for transparency stipulated by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties. We have 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 conforming to this scheme are automatically refused and returned to the supplier.
As part of The Journey to Sustainable Luxury, we worked together with Eco-Age and trusted partner Lucara and its Karowe mine in Botswana, to build towards international best practice standards in the mining of diamonds. We released the Garden of Kalahari collection, comprised of diamonds from the Karowe mine, as a demonstration of our powerful commitment to best practice in the mining and sourcing of raw materials, with leadership in the forging of industry alliances and support for local communities in the most remote regions.
We are constantly looking at further increasing the overall sustainability performance of our collections and relentlessly work on our key materials and sourcing partners.
In 2016 Chopard has marked a further milestone in its Journey to sustainable luxury by announcing an industry pioneering initiative. To celebrate the beginning of this new phase of The Journey, Chopard developed a unique partnership with Gemfields, the world’s largest producer of coloured gemstones, to unveil a capsule collection of Green Carpet High Jewellery masterpieces featuring responsibly sourced emeralds. Eco-Age, experts in mining practices and Chopard’s partner in developing The Journey to Sustainable Luxury, validated the mining site and parent organisation against the GCC Principles of Sustainable Excellence.
By working together with trusted suppliers, Chopard sets an example of best practice in the mining of coloured gemstones, demonstrates leadership in the forging of industry alliances and continues to support local communities in the most remote regions where these extremely rare raw materials are mined.
One of the goals of The Journey is to create sustainable supply chains, including the sourcing of gold, emeralds, opals and more. As part of The Journey, we continually review our supply chains to ensure the procurement of responsibly-sourced stones. It was for this reason that. in light of the escalating Rohingya crisis in Burma, Chopard took the decision to cease sourcing Burmese gemstones with immediate effect.
We work with our suppliers to improve the sustainability performance of our supply chain through supply chain monitoring and capacity building. We have also developed a Code of Conduct for Partners which we expect our partners to abide by.
The Chopard Code of Conduct for Partners places expectations on all suppliers and sub-suppliers covering human rights, labour practices and environmental protection standards. The Code of Conduct for Partners outlines our expectations regarding responsible business practices from all downstream partners, and we require all of our business partners to adhere to this policy. By having this code in place, we can ensure that our suppliers are addressing social and environmental standards wherever they operate around the world.
In the framework of our Resonsible Sourcing Management System, we ensure that all our suppliers are continually assessed against their social and environmental practices, and the principles of our code of conduct. We regularly follow-up on their improvement when necessary and requested by our system.
In order to improve the practices in the watch and jewellery supply chain, and help suppliers make their practices more responsible, we work with our suppliers through a number of different organisations and collaborations:
We joined forces with independent global NGO, ARM, which advocates the equity and well-being of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) communities throughout the world, ASM accounts for 80% of the mining workforce and produce around 20% of the world’s gold. Our collaboration can support and enable mining communities to reach Fairmined certification, which will provide a stable route to market and a fair deal for the miners and their communities when selling their gold. By investing alongside the Alliance for Responsible Mining in the formalisation of mining organisations and their communities, Chopard helps communities to receive fair pay in improved working conditions whilst caring for the environment in which they live. For more information on this initiative, look into material sourcing section.
Working with Lucara’s Karowe mine for the Garden of Kalahari collection, Chopard sent a team from Eco-Age to undertake an assessment against international best practice environmental and social standards. This due diligence process ensured we are working with trusted responsible partners as well as giving Lucara a snapshot assessment of their current processes to highlight any opportunities for improvement. Lucara have since become certified to the Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practices.
Working with Gemfield’s Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, we again partnered with Eco-Age to undertake an on-site assessment of the mine in partnership with Gemfields. This dialogue with a trusted supplier has allowed us to explore, with Gemfield, best practice environmental and social management in the coloured gemstones industry from a mining perspective.