Monday, September 25, 2023

Cartier and Kering Chart New Sustainability Initiatives for Watch and Jewelry Industries


Kering and Cartier join forces to create the first sustainability initiative across the luxury watch and jewelry sector.

Aiming to do for its jewelry and watch brands what it’s done for its luxury fashion labels in terms of sustainability, French luxury group Kering is partnering with Compagnie Financière Richemont’s Cartier to create the Watch and Jewelry Initiative 2030.

Under the new initiative, which also includes jewelry brands Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, and Qeelin, and watch brands Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux, the two rival brands are launching what they hope become industry-wide sustainability benchmarks.

The new Initiative mirrors the 2019 Fashion Pact initiated by Kering, which included 32 brands at launch in the lead-up to the G7 Summit. Its goal was to eliminate single-use plastic as well as incorporate more regenerative agriculture and renewable energy. It now boasts more than 70 signatories including Chanel, Hermès, Prada, Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, H&M, Zara, and Burberry.

Cartier and Kering also both signed onto an initiative earlier this year aimed at improving gemstone sourcing traceability efforts.

The Watch and Jewelry Initiative

The Kering- and Cartier-led initiative said in a joint statement on Wednesday that it is open to “all watch and jewelry players with a national or international footprint” that commit to dedicating their resources and energy toward what the brands say is the “continuous improvement on sustainable business topics, and to developing a vision of excellence for the industry, no matter their starting point, market segment or position in the value chain.”

The Watch and Jewelry Initiative 2030 will support the UN’s 2017 Sustainable Development Goals, which include efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change particularly in areas hardest hit by poverty.

Brands joining the initiative agree to a minimum commitment to engage in signing and submitting the Science Based Targets Initiative by 2022. The brands will also work to reduce carbon emissions aligned with targets to keep global temperatures from warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Brands must commit to becoming net-zero by 2030.

“Luxury is inseparable from the highest environmental and social standards.”

Jean-François Palus, group managing director of Kering

The initiative will also ask member brands to pledge to prioritize their impact on biodiversity water use across supply and sourcing chains. The brands must ensure their supply chains do not source from endangered old-growth forests. And they must also commit to restoring habitats impacted by mining or other extractions activities.

Image courtesy Cartier

“At Kering, we believe that luxury is inseparable from the highest environmental and social standards, and that it is our responsibility, as leading luxury players, to initiate the changes that are needed to protect our planet,” said Jean-François Palus, group managing director of Kering.

“More than ever, we remain committed to share our common vision of a future where all maisons, their suppliers and business partners are empowered to collaborate on projects that deliver positive impact on the planet and its people,” Cyrille Vigneron, president and chief executive officer of Cartier said in the statement.

The Initiative will also require brands to join the Responsible Jewelry Council and become certified in its code of practices within the next two years. Any of the brands’ suppliers must also commit to the certifications and eliminate human health risks from mining chemical exposure, as well as support diversity, equity, and inclusion. The RJC outlines responsible business practices for diamonds, colored gemstones, silver, gold, and platinum group metals.

“Business as usual is no longer an option,” said Iris Van der Veken, executive director of the Responsible Jewelry Council.

“For watch and jewelry, just like for fashion, we believe that committing collectively to a common core of quantified environmental objectives focusing on a few themes is the best way to really have an impact,” Palus said.

Related: Billie Eilish’s Stunning Met Gala Dress Was All About Ethics. Those Cartier Diamonds Were, Too.


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