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What is the RJC?

RJC

The Responsible Jewelery Council (RJC) aims to certify the good practices of companies involved in the gold or diamond supply chain. A company joining the RJC initiative must obtain RJC certification within two years of joining. It undertakes to implement and promote responsible practices in terms of ethics, the environment and working conditions. Founded in 2005, the organization now has almost 450 members, 310 of whom are certified. Ultimately, the risk for a non-certified company is to be excluded from the market.

What's at stake with the RJC?

The importance of this certification is all the greater at a time when sustainable development is becoming increasingly widespread. In the jewelry, jewelry and watchmaking sectors, misleading communication on the titration of gold or diamonds is a scourge that must be avoided. RJC certification, which remains a voluntary process, enables a company to position itself on its market as a player who respects an ethical and social code. It also shows that the raw materials it processes or obtains are produced using methods that respect people and the environment. In fact, despite its youth, this certification has become a must in these three sectors, and even a decisive criterion. The certified company claims to be truly transparent in its supply chain.

How is SGS involved in the certification process?

SGS is a Swiss multinational founded in 1878. It offers services in the fields of control, verification, analysis and certification. SGS acts as an auditor in the certification process. Since its accreditation by the RJC in 2010, the company has been assessing a company's compliance with the requirements of the Code of Good Practice. When the results of the audit are positive, SGS submits a letter of recommendation to the RJC, generally leading to certification of the RJC member audited. In concrete terms, the assessment covers business ethics, human rights and working conditions, environmental performance, management of suppliers and subcontractors, and, mainly for large organizations, the management system in place in each of these areas.

Indeed, by becoming a member of the RJC, companies undertake a major self-assessment and formalization of best practices. The company only contacts the auditor once it is ready to meet the requirements of the RJC. A normal certification cycle lasts three years, so there is regular renewal.

The code of good practice

The code of good practice is open-ended, adapting to changing needs and demands. The code of good practice is divided into six main sections, and includes 42 provisions that make up the various chapters: 

General requirements

1. Legal compliance 2. Policy and implementation 3. Reporting 4. Financial accounts

Responsible supply chains, human rights and duty of care

5. Business partners 6. Human rights 7. Duty of care for responsible sourcing from conflict or high-risk areas 8. Direct sourcing from artisanal and small-scale mining operations 9. Sourcing recycled industrial precious metals directly from informal recyclers 10. Community development 11. Corruption and facilitation payments 12. Know Your Customer (KYC): money laundering and terrorist financing 13. Security 14. Proof of origin

Workers' rights and working conditions

15. General working conditions 16. Working hours 17. Compensation 18. Harassment, discipline, grievance procedures and non-retaliation 19. Child labor 20. Forced labor 21. Freedom of association and collective bargaining 22. Non-discrimination

Health, safety and environment

23. Health and safety 24. Environmental management 25. Hazardous substances 26. Waste and emissions 27. Use of natural resources

Articles containing gold, silver, platinum metals, diamonds and colored stones

28. Product information 29. Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and World Diamond Council System of Warranties 30. Grading, analysis and valuation

Responsible mining

31. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative 32. Stakeholder engagement 33. Indigenous peoples and free, prior and informed consent 34. Impact assessment 35. Artisanal, small-scale and large-scale mining 36. Relocation 37. Emergency response 38. Biodiversity 39. Tailings and waste rock disposal 40. Cyanide 41. Mercury 42. Mine rehabilitation and closure

Taken as a whole, the code of good practice can be applied by any company, in any country, working at any stage of the jewelry supply chain.

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