CIBJO Congress Becomes 1st Carbon-Neutral Event

Milan: With the submission of a report that carefully details the carbon footprint of this year’s CIBJO Congress, which took place in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, May 4-6, 2015, and the purchase by CIBJO of offsetting carbon credits, the annual gathering of the World Jewellery Confederation is to officially become the first-ever major event in the industry to qualify as carbon neutral.

Carbon-Expert, an environmental consulting organization that for two years has worked together with CIBJO to ensure that its daily operations are carbon neutral, submitted the completed carbon footprint report earlier this month. This is the first time that an industry event has been rendered carbon neutral, and the goal is that it will be used as a template for future events organized by CIBJO, and in general become a model that can be applied elsewhere in the jewellery sector.

Complying with ISO 14064, which specifies how to quantify and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, and applying ISO 20121, which offers guidance and best practice for controlling the environmental impact of events, Carbon-Expert carefully measured the carbon footprint of the 2015 CIBJO Congress, accounting for carbon gas emission generated at the congress venue itself, and also by congress participants in their preparation and traveling to and from the event.

In total, about 600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions were associated with the congress, and CIBJO will now purchase carbon credits in order to offset them, and so render the event carbon neutral.

“By making this congress Carbon Neutral, CIBJO is sending a clear message to the industry that all events should wherever possible be carbon neutral, thus minimizing their environmental impact, in order to drive the industry forward and secure the long term future of everyone’s business,” wrote Moya McKeown, an environmental consultant at Carbon-Expert, in the report’s introduction.

“The activities of CIBJO’s Secretariat and administration were certified as carbon neutral both in 2013 and 2014, and we are now expanding the programme to include other activities,” said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri. “Obviously, our carbon footprint represents just a small percentage of that of the entire jewellery sector, but we hope that we serve as a role model for others, who like us are a committed to our industry operating in an environmentally responsible manner. The feedback so far has been most positive.

“CIBJO has worked towards achieving carbon neutrality for itself since 2013 and, having achieved that goal by the end of 2014, the next step was to focus on the congress,” said Jonathan Kendall, President of CIBJO’s Education and Marketing Commission, who has stood at the vanguard of the organization’s environmental campaign. “Now we have achieved carbon neutrality for the Congress held in Brazil in May of this year, our next goal is to encourage and support our members and non-members in the industry to realize the importance of achieving a good environmental record.”

“A number of trade organizations and companies are now working with CIBJO to achieve their own carbon neutral status and we will continue to focus on developing this programme over the coming years,” Mr. Kendall added. “It is clear the ‘millennia consumer’ is highly aware of the environment, and as the jewellery industry is so dependent on continuing to attract new customers, the industry must meet this challenge head on.”