JA Outlines its Support of Responsible Gold Sourcing

Jewelers of America, in collaboration with the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices and the World Gold Council, has prepared a “Responsible Gold Confidence Pack,” with documents that its members can use to communicate with jewelry consumers, the press, and other stakeholders.

The materials begin with JA’s official, “Statement on Responsible Gold,” which is available to the public at its Web site,. It also contains two documents that individual members can use, which are available in the members only section of site. The first document is a “Model Statement on Responsible Gold” for members’ to use with consumers, as a handout and for Web site posting. The second is a sample letter on responsible gold mining, which articulates members’ support for specific mining practices.

“JA’s Responsible Gold Confidence Pack affirms our members’ expectations that industry supply partners will source gold responsibly,” says John Cohen, chairman of the JA Board of Directors. “The documents also enable our members to quickly convey to the public that they believe gold should be extracted and processed in socially and environmentally responsible ways, and that our industry is working to improve the supply chain.”

The Responsible Gold Confidence Pack documents says that retailers alone cannot resolve the issues surrounding the responsible sourcing of gold—that requires a commitment from their suppliers, too. “Without the engagement of all segments of our industry, retailers’ individual pledges to source responsibly will not be effective,” the model statement says.

The documents describe JA member support for the association’s active participation in the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, a collaborative effort among industry associations, mining companies, non-governmental organizations, and others to develop a set of comprehensive responsible sourcing standards for the mining industry.

The documents also references Jewelers of America’s active membership in the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices, which will begin monitoring its members in 2008, from mine to retail on responsible ethical, social, and environmental practices.

“JA members are also given the option to add information about their own individual memberships in CRJP, if applicable, to reinforce to consumers their commitment to responsible practices,” says JA president and chief executive officer Matthew A. Runci, who also serves as chairman of the CRJP Board.

The model statement concludes with Web addresses for JA, CRJP  and IRMA. There are also links to two additional sites that address responsible gold issues in detail, which are sponsored by the World Gold Council.