The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has joined the new Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 (WJI 2030), an organization founded by Cartier and Kering that aims to support a fully sustainable watch and jewelry industry that’s “resilient to climate change, preserves resources, and fosters inclusiveness,” according to its literature.
GIA is already a leader on the ESG front; the organization committed to issuing only digital gemological reports by 2025, avoiding the use of 20 tons of paper and 18.5 tons of plastic each year and reducing shipping-related carbon emissions. The organization is also a long-time member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2012.
The co-chairs of WJI 2030, Cyrille Vigneron, president and CEO of Cartier International, and Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer of Kering, said jointly in a statement, “We welcome GIA to WJI 2030 as the first gemological research, education and laboratory organization to join. WJI wants to grow naturally through purpose-driven leadership. The Institute, with its expertise and mindset for positive change, will bring great added value to building a strong, inclusive, and impactful framework for our initiative.”
Iris Van der Veken, executive director and secretary general of WJI 2030, said at the first WJI member workshop, held October 26 in Paris, “GIA brings with it a deep commitment to consumer protection, unparalleled understanding of the industry, a commitment to science-based standards and a well-deserved reputation for independence and trust.”
At the same event, Johanna Levy, GIA’s vice president of environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) programs, said, “Supporting WJI 2030 will build on GIA’s many existing sustainability initiatives. Our next steps are to carefully document our footprint and set science-based targets to reduce that footprint.”
GIA will be an affiliate member of WJI 2030 and will work with the organization to develop “robust ESG content for its industry-leading education programs to help prepare the next generation of industry leaders to further advance sustainability within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.”
The “rules” for WJI 2030 affiliate members are much the same as they are for B Corp-certified companies. Members are required to respect human rights and labor laws, and comply with laws and regulations on the environment, health, and safety in all the countries.
Photo, from left: Iris Van der Veken, executive director of the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030; Susan Jacques, CEO and president of GIA; Johanna Levy, GIA’s vice president of environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) programs