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Sustainability certificate is becoming a higher priority

February 12, 2019

Companies take on responsibility

A survey carried out on behalf of INHORGENTA MUNICH (February 22–25) shows that consumers highly regard sustainability when it comes to purchasing jewelry and watches. Responsible trade is therefore a central theme at the industry trade fair. Smaller companies may now get help in order to successfully apply for the globally recognized sustainability certificate from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).

Sustainability plays a central role in the jewelry and watch industry, as found by a survey from INHORGENTA MUNICH. In response to the question “which trends will impact the sector in the coming years,” 45 percent of respondents answered “ecological sustainability” and 43 percent “free trade.” 2,074 exhibitors and visitors to the trade fair took part in the survey. “Jewelry and watches are very personal items. Customers would like to wear these products with a good conscious. So they are increasingly asking about sustainable production,” said Exhibition Director Stefanie Mändlein.

A new partnership should help companies demonstrate their sustainable actions with an official certification. At INHORGENTA MUNICH, the German Association of Jewellery and Watches (BVSU) will announce a strategic partnership with the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), an internationally recognized organization for standard setting and certification. Companies with a RJC certification have agreed to minimum standards along the entire supply chain regarding company ethics, ecology, managements systems as well as social responsibility.

“Demonstrating that companies are part of a sustainable supply chain is complicated and mainly only manageable for large firms. The partnership between BVSU and RJC should now make it possible for the numerous small companies to successfully attempt certification,” said Dr. Guido Grohmann, Managing Director of the BVSU.

RJC welcomes the cooperation. “Consumers expect more responsible business practices in the jewelry industry today, especially in relation to the protection of environment and people,” said Edward Johnson, Director of Business Development for RJC. Currently, over 1,000 companies worldwide are RJC certified, guaranteeing ethical, social and ecological standards.

Customers are becoming aware of sustainability
More and more exhibitors at INHORGENTA MUNICH can already provide a RJC certification, for example the Lifestyle Group GmbH has had one since 2017. “Because we already placed a strong value on sustainability in our work and supply chain, it was a small jump to have these officially certified. This way we can portray sustainability in our external image and raise the awareness of our partners,” explained Managing Director Florian Metz. “The certificate is also a way of fulfilling customer needs,” explained Dr. Michael Stoermer, Member of the Board of Dr. Bernhard Burger AG, also exhibiting at INHORGENTA MUNICH. “What’s important is not just the look of unique jewelry, but also where the materials came from and if they were acquired using a sustainable and environmentally friendly process.” Allgemeine Gold- und Silberscheideanstalt AG (Agosi) from Pforzheim, Germany, will also be at INHORGENTA MUNICH. The company was the first German firm to receive the RJC certificate in 2009.

INHORGENTA MUNICH 2019 has produced a film about sustainability in the jewelry, watch and gemstones industry:

The BVSU will hold a press conference on this topic on February 22, from 15:30 to 16:30 in Hall B1, stand 449/463.