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Cavalieri outlines CSR requirements

Protecting the jewellery industry’s reputation and integrity is one of the prerequisites to corporate social responsibility (CSR), says CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri.

Delivering the keynote address at GIT 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand, Cavalieri also discussed the need to create a positive influence to promote sustainable economic and social development in jewellery-producing communities and countries, as well as to be fully transparent in conducting business.

To effectively apply CSR principles, the first step is to identify to whom they should be directed, he said.

“[The first is] our business community, which includes all the executives and employees along the entire length of the chain of distribution, or as they say, from the mine through to the jewellery retailer; two, our consumers, who buy jewellery for its beauty, heritage, and its ability to express human emotion, and who rely upon us to protect its value and reputation; and, three, our stakeholders, who include the millions of individuals living in the countries and regions around the world in which they are active, and for whom we represent a resource for sustainable economic and social development.”

Cavalieri hailed tools like the Kimberley Process (KP) that are meant to protect the chain of distribution, however, he was quick to point out that any system should not be restrictively expensive to implement.

“What unfair systems do is imply that all those who are financially or logistically unable to adopt them are not responsible corporate citizens, at least in comparison to those who have the means to implement them. Systems that defend the chain of distribution should be inclusive and not restrictive.”

Although jewellery is considered a non-essential item, Cavalieri said its reach throughout the supply chain makes it essential to those whose livelihood is dependent on its production.

“On a global scale, the number of individuals directly and indirectly employed by the greater jewellery industry runs into the millions, and there are entire countries whose economic well-being is dependent upon the products we produce and sell,” he added. “Jewellery may not be an essential item, but the jewellery business most definitely is.”

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