Pandora to reduce emissions by sourcing only recycled gold and silver
The world's largest jewellery brand, Pandora, has announced plans to stop sourcing mined silver and gold in its products by 2025, a move that is expected to cut its emissions from the use of the materials by more than two-thirds.
Pandora will commit to only buying recycled sources of gold and silver for its jewellery products by 2025. According to calculations from the company, emissions from silver will be reduced by 66% and gold by 99%.
“Silver and gold are beautiful jewellery materials that can be recycled forever without losing their quality. Metals mined centuries ago are just as good as new. They will never tarnish or decay. We wish to help develop a more responsible way of crafting affordable luxury like our jewellery, and prevent that these fine metals end up in landfills. We want to do our part to build a more circular economy,” chief executive Alexander Lacik said.
“The need for sustainable business practices is only becoming more important, and companies must do their part in response to the climate crisis and the depletion of natural resources. For many years, Pandora has used recycled metals in our designs. Now we are ready to take the next step and stop using mined silver and gold altogether. This is a significant commitment that will be better for the environment and make our jewellery more sustainable.”
Silver is the most used material in Pandora jewellery, accounting for more than 50% of all purchased product materials measured by weight. Around 15% of the world’s silver supply comes from recycled sources, the majority of which is sourced from industries that use it in chemical production and electronics.
Currently, 71% of the silver and gold in Pandora’s jewellery comes from recycled sources. The business believes the move will reduce carbon emissions and improve value chain water usage alongside other environmental impacts.
The move also builds on new sustainability targets announced by Pandora earlier this year. The company has committed to becoming a carbon-neutral business across its operations by 2025 and will develop science-based targets next year to outline decarbonisation plans across its value chain.
Pandora will work with suppliers to ensure that recycled silver is responsibly sourced, according to leading initiatives and standards including the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
The RJC has forged a partnership with the UN Global Compact which will see members such as Pandora, Swarovski, Tiffany & Co and the De Beers Group, develop actions that align and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Since 2005, RJC membership has grown from 14 to more than 1,100 organisations across the jewellery value chain, from miners to retailers. The Council aims to promote and advocate responsible practices.
All members must achieve RJC certification within two years of joining the RJC, which demonstrates that business practices conform to RJC’s Code of Practices for business ethics, human rights, social and environmental performance.
The industry has been tarnished by ethical discrepancies, notably human rights. A 2017 report from Ardea International found that companies in the sector were relying on the work of overarching, voluntary councils when it comes to human rights, with only a few companies pushing actions beyond the practices of industry bodies.