News Bureau

 
June 08, 2019

RJC Panel Review at JCK LV

Earlier this month, RJC returned to JCK Las Vegas to host a panel discussion on responsibility and trust in the jewellery supply chain. This year our panel consisted of: 1: Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director at RJC, 2: Raj Metha, Director at Rosy Blue NV, 3: Erik Jens, CEO at LuxuryFintech.com, 4: Gina Drosos, CEO at Signet Jewelers, 5: Jeff Corey, Owner at Day’s Jewelers, 6: Feriel Zerouki, Senior Vice President at De Beers Group & 6: Shekhar Shah, Director at Real Gems.

David Bouffard, RJC Chair, opened the session and welcomed all panellists and attendees. The discussion was moderated by Brandee Dallow, RJC's Business Development Lead in North America and the panel presented insights on the following key areas:

The RJC’s mission has never been more relevant. Consumers have a choice. Trust and transparency are the new equity. Product integrity and disclosure across the value chain to protect consumer confidence is the most important issue. When a consumer walks in a store or buys online, he or she expect brands to be sustainable. RJC membership can support companies in building sustainability practices in their operations. It is a journey of continuous improvement.

Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into supply chain strategy is the way forward. Ask yourself, A: Are the SDGs being integrated into your business strategy? B: Which SDGs are the main focuses (materiality exercise) for business? & C: What are the challenges of incorporating the SDGs into business strategy, the level of communication and measurement on SDG impacts?

If you act responsibly, you will find opportunity. RJC members play a key role in advancing the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These opportunities range from having a safe working environment (SDG3), promoting gender equality in the workplace (SDG5), decent work and economic growth (SDG8) and developing circular economy models (SDG9).

We need more than ever inclusive leadership. Big companies and small enterprises must show top-level commitment and accountability to understand and assess their impacts, engage in meaningful dialogue and to innovate for their business models to develop communities on the ground. And companies need to measure – what is material to your organisation and how do you quantify progress?

Partnerships (SDG17) will achieve transformative change. The panel session closed with all panellists agreeing not to reinvent the wheel and duplicate efforts. We must co-invest in solutions to shared challenges. This means we need to work more than ever together to align efforts. This is where progress will depend – on synergies and collective action taken on the ground.

Sustainability drives financial and operational performance. Companies are realising significant cost savings through retention employees, improved health and safety conditions and environmental sustainability, related operational efficiencies and access to finance. Moreover, investors are more and more now able to track the high performers on ESG (environmental, social and governance factors) and are correlating better financial performance with better ESG performance.