How the Founding Family of Chopard Are Championing Ethical Gold

Lindsay Judge   |   05 - 06 - 2019

The Scheufeles, the founding family of Chopard has always held responsibility and ethics as an important part of their family philosophy since the inception of the brand in 1860 and sustainability is something that has always been at the heart of Chopard, no more so than today.

 

 

More than 30 years ago, the family had the vision and determination to develop vertically integrated in-house production and to invest in mastering high-quality craftsmanship. This meant that Chopard was able to manage all the processes from manufacturing to the final product and ensure the sustainability of its materials and production process.

 

Chopard has been a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2012 and the house has partnered with Eco-Age to launch The Journey to Sustainable Luxury. The programme looks at the key impacts of the brand and the ways in which sourcing and production can be improved.

 

Earrings from the Green Carpet Collection

 

Chopard has worked with key partners to responsibly source gold and to feature responsibly sourced emeralds, the first traceable and sustainably sourced opals from a family-owned mine in remote Australia and RJC certified diamonds in high jewellery collections.

 

Chopard Co-President Caroline Scheufele

 

Caroline Scheufele, Artistic Director and Co-President of Chopard said: “Since the launch of The Journey to Sustainable Luxury, we have been improving the sustainability performance of our production processes, building responsible supply chains, and playing our part to catalyse positive change for the communities and people touched by our business and products”.

 

One of the goals of The Journey is to create sustainable supply chains, including the sourcing of gold, emeralds, opals and more. Chopard takes its commitment to the highest standards of ethical sourcing very seriously and that’s why as of 2017 Chopard has taken the decision to cease sourcing Burmese gemstones.

 

Earrings from the Green Carpet Collection

 

Over the last five years, Chopard has continued to build on its promise, achieving a number of landmark steps including creating the incredible Green Carpet Collection of High Jewellery using only sustainably sourced and traceable precious materials; the Palme Verte Collection, the first diffusion lines in Fair-mined gold; the world’s first watches in Fair-mined gold in the L.U.C Collection; not forgetting the mythical Palme d’Or which has been crafted from Fair-mined gold since 2014. In 2017, Chopard also launches the new Ice Cube collection, a jewellery diffusion line crafted in Chopard ethical gold 100 per cent responsibly sourced.

 

Ethical Gold

 

As of July 2018, Chopard announced that it would be sourcing 100 per cent ethical gold. Chopard defines “Ethical Gold” as gold acquired from responsible sources, verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards. Chopard gold is 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.

 

 

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 fair-mined gold in the world and has joined forces with ARM to support and enable a new artisanal mine to reach Fair-mined 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.

 

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 and much needed UN Global Goals; including contributing to decent work, reduced inequality and responsible resource consumption.

 

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