The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is pushing for stronger sustainability reporting in the jewellery and watch industry, citing increased investor interest in companies that report their greenhouse gas emissions or human rights protection initiatives, among others.
In an open letter to business leaders in the jewellery industry dated March 3, Iris Van der Veken, executive director of the Responsible Jewellery Council said Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting in the jewellery sector should be normalised. The letter also discussed updates on other sustainability programmes of RJC.
“Many investors are integrating ESGs and climate considerations across their portfolios in response to changing attitudes and regulations. This is unlikely a temporary trend; it will become part of the new normal. In financing and private equity, transparency has become the new watchword: Data, data, data and reporting on progress is here to stay,” Van der Veken noted.
She added that during the virus-led downturn, ESG stocks outperformed major indices such as the S&P 500 and MSCI Europe. The trend demonstrates an increasing investor preference for companies that take a stakeholder view of their business as opposed to a purely shareholder view – a move that could change the nature of corporate social responsibility.
The RJC official also cited a renewed focus from governments and the private sector on the need to address climate change and other sustainability challenges.
“RJC is working closely with its members and key stakeholders in the finance and equity markets to build and implement tools that will support the jewellery and watch industry to integrate an ESG framework in their management reporting,” she explained.