July 5th, 2005
Companies from a cross section of the diamond and gold jewellery industry have joined forces to form the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices (CRJP), aimed at promoting transparency and accountability.
The move comes as retailers, diamond producers and financial institutions are encouraging their customers to adhere to a more a stringent corporate environment following the Anti Money Laundering Act and amid concerns about consumer confidence.
It is also aimed at creating a common standard for best practice conduct.
"This is a starting point to get the industry to develop standard practices," said Terry Janes at BHP Billiton. "Everyone is developing their own best practice principles, but the players in the middle are stuck with all the different sets of principles. We want this to be as inclusive as possible."
"Everybody can step on board and influence what direction the council is going," he said.
De Beers introduced a set of Best Practice Principles in 2003 as part of its Supplier of Choice policy.
Recently, Rio Tinto announced plans to introduce an audit trail for all the diamonds it sells to its clients in India. Last year, the diversified miner launched a so-called business excellence model (BEM), a best practice audit and certification system.
The initiative will cover ethical, social and environmental issues worldwide.
Measures include developing a "Responsible Practices Framework", defining ethical, social and environmental standards and making sure members comply to the new set of guidelines.
CRJP’s council members include ABN Amro, De Beers, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Tiffany, Cartier, Signet, Zale Corporation Jewellers of America, Rosy Blue and Diarough.
By Emma Muller.