The Responsible Jewellery Council today announces the launch of its 2017 Chain of Custody Standard (CoC). This follows a review initiated in August 2016, involving three rounds of public consultation, input from over 150 industry and non-industry stakeholders, and contributions through webinars, workshops and meetings.
The CoC standard was launched in 2012 as a voluntary standard for creating a chain of custody for precious metals that are responsibly produced, processed and traded through jewellery supply chains, and that are third party assured at every stage. The 2017 version continues to do this, and now includes clarifications and improvements on due diligence, eligibility of CoC material and harmonisation with other standards.
Revised due diligence requirements have been developed, and the CoC Guidance document has substantial new sections. These changes bring the CoC into alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas for gold and platinum group metals. Important clarifications have been made to the criteria on eligibility of CoC material to make it more practical for today’s supply chains, for example, on how to source eligible e-waste.
The RJC continues to prioritise efforts to reduce audit duplication and the standard now includes a process for sourcing eligible mined material from recognised third-party mining standards and schemes. This currently includes the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) ‘Towards Sustainable Mining’ (TSM) programme and the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) sustainable development framework. The promotion of sourcing from responsible artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) remains a hallmark of the CoC. The recognition of the Fairmined Gold Standard is complemented by recognition of the Fairtrade Standard for Gold from Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining.
Anne-Marie Fleury, Director of Standards and Impacts at the RJC says, “After an insightful research and consultation process, we are immensely pleased to present the new 2017 CoC Standard. By updating the Standard, we are further precipitating the growth and reputation of the RJC as we navigate the changes and challenges facing the gold and platinum group metal supply chains. We are deeply grateful to our Standards Committee for their time, expertise and guidance in revising the standard”
Certification against the new standard will begin from 1 April 2018. RJC members due for CoC re-certification in 2018 will have the option to get re-certified against either the 2012 CoC or the 2017 CoC. Following this grace period, all members due for CoC re-certification will be certified against the 2017 CoC. Members that join the RJC from 1 April 2018, must use the 2017 version of the CoC Standard.