CIBJO Moots Carbon-Free Jewellery Industry

Lord Deben (right) with Gaetano Cavalieri (center) and Vivien Johnston

London: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has held a meeting in London with Lord Deben, Chairman of the Independent Committee on Climate Change in the United Kingdom, during which they discussed CIBJO’s educational programme for a carbon-free jewellery industry, which was outlined at the CIBJO Congress in Moscow in May.

A renowned authority on environmental sustainability, Lord Deben also chairs the sustainability consultancy Sancroft International, as well as the Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment. Before entering the House of Lords in 2010, he served at different times as the British Secretary of State for the Environment, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and Chair of the Conservative Party.

Also attending the meeting were Adrian Gahan, Managing Director of Sancroft International, and Vivien Johnston, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and Chair of the Jewellery Ethics Committee of the United Kingdom.

“Lord Deben has been a pioneering figure in the carbon budgeting field in the United Kingdom, and being able to sit down with him provided both opportunity to learn, as well as to explain what we would like to achieve in the jewellery sector,” said Dr. Cavalieri, after the meeting. “For many years, our view of Corporate Social Responsibility was almost entirely focused on protecting the integrity of the chain of distribution. This is critically important, of course, but as members of a greater society we have other obligations as well, and that includes providing a healthy and sustainable environment for future generations.”

The issue of carbon footprints and how companies can reduce the amount of pollution into the atmosphere was the primary focus of CIBJO’s Marketing and Education Commission at the CIBJO Congress in May, and prior to the event CIBJO subjected its itself to carbon footprint analysis, to serve as an example to the industry.

In February Dr. Cavalieri had introduced CIBJO’s environmental doctrine at the Pacific Precious Coral Forum in Taiwan, where he stressed that the industry needs to let the world know that it “and the environmentalists are on the same side, and that the rising carbon dioxide emissions which warm the oceans and irresponsible harvesting methods, all of which endanger the reefs, are our enemies as well as theirs.”

In June, he addressed the issue of environmental sustainability in the cultured pearl sector at the Sustainable Pearls Forum in Hong Kong, noting that “when consumers buy an item of pearl jewellery, they should feel that they have invested in our planet’s long-term survival, rather than having taken advantage of it.”