Responsible Jewellery Council

The Responsible Jewellery Council (‘RJC’) was established in 2005 to promote responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices throughout the gold and diamond supply chains. It was built on the belief that these issues can be best addressed as a collaborative effort.

Richemont plays an active role in the RJC. Cartier was one of the 14 founding members and today the RJC has grown to include over 400 members, including all of Richemont’s Maisons which produce or distribute products containing diamonds and gold.

Code of Practices

The RJC has developed a Code of Practices, based on established international principles, which sets out requirements against which members must be certified. The scope of the Code of Practices captures:

  • Business Ethics Practices;
  • Human Rights and Social Performance;
  • Environmental Performance;
  • Management Systems.


The RJC Code of Practices System

The Council has developed the RJC Code of Practices System, a certification system applicable to all members’ businesses that contribute to the gold and diamond jewellery supply chain. Certification will help to strengthen the reputation of members as well as the reputations of members’ suppliers, customers and business partners. Under the RJC System, all commercial members of the RJC must be audited by accredited, third party auditors to verify compliance with the Code of Practices.

In 2010, Cartier was the first retailer to receive certification under the RJC System. The certifications of Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc were confirmed during the year under review. As a percentage of Group sales, the proportion of Richemont’s businesses which have been audited regarding these non-financial criteria has therefore increased from zero in 2009/10, to over 75 % in 2012/13. Further details are provided here.

Looking ahead

Further certifications are expected to take the proportion of certifications to over 90 % of total Group sales, and 100 % of sales by those Maisons which produce or distribute products containing diamonds or gold.

In the year ahead, in collaboration with the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Richemont will sponsor the RJC’s study of the supply chain for coloured gemstones.

The RJC’s year

During the year under review, in addition to recruiting a further 70 new members and certifying a further 90 existing members’ compliance with its Code of Practices, the RJC’s achievements included:

  • Becoming a Full Member of the lSEAL Alliance. ISEAL Members are standards organisations that commit to transparency, co-operation and good governance;
  • Developing programmes to improve labour standards and working conditions in India’s jewellery supply chain with Social Accountability International;
  • Translating its Code of Practices into French, Italian, Gujurati, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese;
  • Harmonising standards with the London Bullion Market Association and EICC-GesI conflict free smelter programme in respect of gold refiner audits;
  • Increasing its membership from 360 to 430 businesses.

These various achievements underscore the RJC’s growing reputation within the jewellery industry.