Initiatives to Assure Responsibility
This has brought the industry and many of the brands in this sector into the spotlight and generated concern among interested stakeholders including legislators. But individual groups and the industries concerned have responded with a number of initiatives to respond to the challenges and to show how responsibility can be assured. These include schemes giving assurance over the traceability and origins of the raw materials as well as the responsible production of the final products and incorporate existing initiatives and best practices in the process.
For jewelry including diamonds, gold, silver and platinum the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) Code of Practice (http://www.responsiblejewellery.com/
The Code takes into account many aspects of legislation and best practices in areas such as Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money laundering and the like as well as initiatives such as the Kimberley Process and World Diamond Council System of Warranties and OECD Guidance for Multinational Enterprises.
More recently, the US Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has come into force, incorporating requirements for companies to report annually on whether any Conflict Minerals (defined as “3 Ts” - tin, tantalum and tungsten plus gold originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo or an adjoining country) are necessary to the functionality or production of a product manufactured or contracted to be manufactured by the company. The final rules for this have just been published and require companies to have due diligence systems in place to support their annual reporting.
Ensure Due Diligence at all Stages of the Supply Chain
Many of these minerals are used in the electronics sector as well as in jewelry and the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) (http://www.eicc.info/
The RJC has also published a Chain of Custody certification to provide assurance on the origins of gold and members’ due diligence systems. This is directed at all stages in the supply chain so that in addition to sourcing from certified refiners members can also have their own systems certified providing traceability from finished product to raw materials. Meanwhile the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has launched its LBMA Responsible Gold system aimed at ensuring assurance in the systems implemented by gold refiners. While this may sound like another case of Code Inflation, these organizations are working together on harmonization of industry initiatives so as to reduce the burden of multiple audits and give a more seamless approach to assurance.
About SGS Sustainability Solutions
SGS is accredited by both RJC and EICC for their programs (http://www.sgs.com/
Feel free to contact the SGS experts should you require more information.
SGS Consumer Testing Services
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London, W5 3TA
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SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.