Opportunity to Bring Certified Sustainability-Rated, Climate Neutral Gold Jewelry to Market
EMERYVILLE, Calif., (March 15, 2022) – SCS Global Services (SCS), a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development, and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), a leading global expert on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), today announced their agreement to expand the SCS 007 Sustainability Rated Jewelry Standard to include certification of gold from artisanal and small-scale mines (ASM). The goal is to enable participants in ARM’s Sustainable Mines Program to have their gold independently evaluated under the SCS-007 standard and marketed to consumers as “Certified Sustainability Rated Gold.”
SCS and ARM share the view that market transformation toward sustainable development requires full transparency, with comprehensive assessment and benchmarks of social and environmental performance that include demonstrated climate neutrality. Both SCS and ARM are committed to a responsible gold supply chain that includes ASMs, given the crucial role that such mines play in the social and economic fabric of developing countries.
In order to streamline and optimize ASM integration into SCS-007, the supply chains evaluated will leverage the existing specialized ASM standards developed by ARM: Fairmined Standard and CRAFT Code. In addition, the ASM organizations will undergo life cycle assessment, to confirm that the gold mining operations are climate-neutral and to set benchmarks for reducing other impacts. Origin confirmation testing will be conducted by Source Certain International, the world’s premier forensic testing laboratory for provenance analysis. The product certificate will contain the details regarding the CRAFT Code conformity verification and mines support by ARM. Additionally, in the case of gold and precious metals from Fairmined certified mines, the Fairmined claim- and -label rules as established in the Fairmined Standard apply.
“This agreement represents another important advance for the jewelry industry, bringing state-of-the-art science to the verification of origin, sustainability and climate claims for ASM-sourced gold,” said Gina D’Amato, Executive Director of ARM. “It is one more way that we can support the lives and livelihoods of artisanal and small-scale mining communities while simultaneously working to protect the environment and climate.”
“SCS and ARM have long been partners in the jewelry industry certification ecosystem, committed to multi-stakeholder standards development and assurance processes encompassing the entire supply chain,” said Stanley Mathuram, Executive Vice President at SCS Global Services. “Consumer demand for sustainable, verifiable options for gold jewelry has never been higher, so leveraging our long-standing relationship at this juncture makes abundant sense.”
The success of bringing Certified Sustainability Rated gold from responsible ASM gold mines will involve several players. Alliance for Responsible Mining and Mercury Free Mining (MFM) are both involved in bringing ASM mines and stakeholders into this process. Hoover & Strong, a major refiner and manufacturer of precious metals with a long-standing commitment to environmental and social responsibility, and the Fair Trade Jewellery Company (FTJCo), the first Fairtrade certified jeweler in North America and the first SCS-007 accredited retailer in Canada, have also been working with SCS, leveraging their experiences as the first two companies in North American to market Fairtrade, Fairmined and responsibly sourced gold from Congo. In this new supply chain, Hoover & Strong will be providing refining services. The first jewelers in the program will be members of the FairSources Group—a global network of co-operating independent jewelers founded by the Fair Trade Jewellery Company (FTJCo) of Canada.
The SCS-007 Sustainability Rated Jewelry Standard launched in 2021 as the first comprehensive, multi-stakeholder sustainability standard developed for the gemstone-quality diamond sector and is now being expanded to include precious metals and gemstones. Requirements address five key pillars of sustainability: Verified Origin Traceability, Ethical Stewardship, Climate Neutrality, Sustainable Production Practices, and Sustainability Investments. A portion of each certification fee goes into a fund to support ASMs.
Recent survey results showed that 75% of consumers care about issues such as worker mistreatment, child labor, and environmental damage related to diamonds and the jewelry industry. A key component of the SCS-007 Certified Sustainability Rated claim for gold will be the claim of Climate Neutrality. Today’s savvy, conscious consumers want access to lower-carbon alternatives, especially for lifelong investments such as engagement and wedding rings. This partnership will yield the first climate-neutral gold available to consumers.
About SCS Global Services and SCS Standards Development
SCS Global Services is an internationally recognized leader in third-party certification of environmental and sustainability claims. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Africa. It is the certification arm of Scientific Certification Systems, Inc., a chartered benefit corporation. Additional information is available at www.scsglobalservices.com
About Alliance for Responsible Mining
ARM is a global independent non-profit organization founded in 2008 and focused on making a positive change in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector (ASM) in order to transform it into a legitimate, responsible, and profitable activity while improving the quality of life of artisanal miners, their families, and communities.
Additional information is available at www.responsiblemines.org