Chopard leads the watch and jewellery industry with a major and unique announcement: from July 2018, Chopard will use 100 percent Ethical Gold in its jewellery and watch creations. As a family business, sustainability has always been a core value, and this announcement sees the culmination of a vision that started more than 30 years ago.
Long term supporters and friends of Chopard; Colin and Livia Firth, Julianne Moore, models and activists Arizona Muse and Noella Coursaris and Chinese singer Roy Wang came to champion the gold landmark announcement, made by Chopard Co-Presidents Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, in front of a packed audience at Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Fair. Speaking at the event, the Co-Presidents outlined how they were able to achieve this milestone.
Chopard Ethical Gold
Chopard defines “Ethical Gold” as gold acquired from responsible sources, verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards. From July, 2018 Chopard gold will be responsibly sourced from one of two traceable routes:
- Artisanal freshly mined gold from small-scale mines participating in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fairmined and Fairtrade schemes.
- RJC Chain of Custody gold, through Chopard’s partnership with RJC-certified refineries.
To further its contribution towards in artisanal gold miners’ improvement initiatives and therefore contribute to a further growth of volumes of ethically extracted gold, Chopard joined SBGA (Swiss Better Gold Association) in 2017. Speaking at the press conference Karl Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard said: ”We are incredibly proud of being able to say that from July 2018 all of our gold will be purchased from responsible sources”. Chopard’s vision is to increase, as much as it possibly can, the proportion of artisanal gold the Maison buys as it becomes more available on the market. Today Chopard is the largest buyer of Fairmined gold. “It is a bold commitment, but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible.”
“We have been able to achieve this because more than 30 years ago, we developed a vertically integrated in house production, and invested in mastering all crafts internally, from creating a rare in-house gold foundry as early as 1978, to the skills of high jewellery artisans and expert watchmakers.”
Chopard watches and jewellery are beautifully crafted in-house, this means the Maison is in the unique position to be able to guarantee control of all processes; from manufacturing to final product, therefore controlling the gold used in its products.
Continuing the conversation Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Creative Director of Chopard said: “As a family run business, ethics have always been an important part of our family philosophy. Naturally, we have always put ethics at the heart of the values of Chopard.
“True luxury comes only when you know the handprint of your supply chain and I am very proud of our gold sourcing programme. As Creative Director of the brand, I am so proud to share the stories behind each beautiful piece to our customers and know they will wear these stories with pride”. As part of Chopard’s commitment to ethical gold, new High Jewellery Green Carpet Collection pieces presented at Baselworld are exclusively made from Fairmined gold, as well as the L.U.C Full Strike watch and the Happy Palm watches.
In 2013 Chopard took the long-term decision to directly invest in artisanal gold, to bring more artisanal gold to the market. By providing financial and technical resources in partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Chopard were directly responsible for a number of small scale mines achieveing Fairmined certification. This then allows the small scale mining communities to sell their gold at a premium price whilst ensuring mining is undertaken in line with strict environmental and social conditions. Chopard also helped establish new trade routes from the mines they source from in South America, bringing traceable products into Europe and providing further financial income into local communities.
Today, Chopard is proud to announce that the Maison has joined forces with ARM to support and enable a new artisanal mine to reach Fairmined certification – CASMA, located in Ancash (Peru) – which will provide training, social welfare and environmental support. To date, several mines in Latin America including Cooperativa Multiactiva Agrominera de Iquira and Coodmilla Mining Cooperative in Colombia have now achieved Fairmined certification through Chopard’s direct support. By investing alongside ARM in the formalization of mining organisations and their communities Chopard creates hope for these forgotten communities on the margins of society and helping them to make a legitimate and dignified living.
UN Global Goals: The next step
This announcement also marked the next phase of Chopard’s sustainability programme – The Journey to Sustainable Luxury – as the luxury watch and jewellery house unveiled its alignment with the UN Global Goals.
As a responsible company, Chopard wanted to go above and beyond compliance and measure how the Maison can contribute to the achievement of the ambitious UN Global Goals; including contributing to decent work, reduced inequality and responsible resource consumption.
Speaking about the importance of business commitments to achieve the goals, Livia Firth said: “Today, thanks to The Global Goals, we have a 17-point plan laying out social and natural capital goals – and no one should be exempted from these. Connecting citizens called one of the most critical initiatives of our times as essential and exciting, if we wish to see a path to a more sustainable and just future. It is exciting to have Chopard share this vision, and at Eco-Age we look forward to working with them to achieve this.”
Following the announcement, a panel was hosted by Imran Amed, founder and Editor in Chief of Business of Fashion. The panel discussed how, by aligning with The Global Goals, businesses can help future-proof themselves, create value throughout their supply chains and quantifiably demonstrate how they are helping to contribute towards the 2030 aims, for a better world.