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Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 creates real momentum at Watches & Wonders

The Watch and Jewellery Initiative 2030 (WJI 2030) was officially established in Geneva, on April 1st 2022. When Kering and Cartier founded the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 (WJI 2030), the ambition was clear: to bring together the global watch and jewellery industry to lead a sustainability transformation with positive and lasting impact in three areas: climate, nature and people. The confluence of recent crises has heightened the sense of urgency around advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the opportunity and responsibility for business to take a leading role – supported by an increasing number of regulations and growing stakeholder expectations.

A C-level panel took place to commemorate 1 year since the establishment of the Initiative. The panel titled If not now, when? If not us as an industry, who? was moderated by Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director & Secretary General, of the WJI 2030.

The following C-level panelists joined:

  • Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer, Kering – WJI 2030 Co- founder
  • Cyrille Vigneron, President & CEO, Cartier SA – WJI 2030 Co-founder
  • Frédéric Grangié, President, Chanel Watches & Jewellery  – WJI 2030 Member
  • Daniel Klier, CEO, ESG Book – WJI 2030 Partner
  • Catharina Martinez Pardo, Partner, BCG – WJI 2030 Partner

The panel discussed the urgency of accelerating the sustainability agenda in an ever-evolving regulatory and consumer landscape. Different drivers are accelerating transparency. The consumer is looking for trust and purpose, they want a company to demonstrate positive impact. Talent wants to work for a company that embraces true values and inclusion. As ESG regulations continue to evolve rapidly across multiple jurisdictions, corporations are navigating ever-more complex challenges around reporting.

Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer at Kering shares “The WJI 2030 has accomplished several first achievements over the past year, and demonstrates how much we strongly believe in two key streams of action: partnership and multi-stakeholder consultation. Sustainability should not be a competitive field. We must work together if we want to transform the industry and make a true difference.”

Cyrille Vigneron, President & CEO, Cartier SA, further adds, “If you have good will, join us, and if you have good ideas, do and share, and they will benefit all.” 

Frédéric Grangié, the President of Chanel Watches & Jewellery, highlights that “For several years now, Chanel Watches & Fine Jewelry has had the ambition that its activities be ever more responsible, its sourcing ever more traceable, and benefit local stakeholders and ecosystems. We always believed that this task would require a strong collective and sectoral involvement, and we didn’t find any new initiative that seemed comprehensive and consistent with our own commitments before the Watch & Jewellery Initiative. The Initiative meets our ambitions to ensure that the sector has a positive impact on the planet and on people.”

Daniel Klier, CEO of ESG Book emphasizes that “Sustainability reporting has passed the point of ‘no return’ – driven by investors, consumers, employees and regulators. As such, regulators around the world have defined more than 3,000 different ESG standards and policy revisions. The watch and jewellery industry has a unique opportunity to take a leadership role – driven by ambitious leaders and powerful brands.”

Followed by Catharina Martinez Pardo, Partner at Boston Consulting Group, Catharina shares that “In climate there is still a small window to act – to succeed, it is instrumental to get the commitment of executives, to support brands in accelerating their actions as well as leveraging the collective power to unlock large scale impact and provide a platform to find collaborative solution to the challenging and controversial topics.”

Finally, in closing the high-level panel, Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director & Secretary General of the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 acknowledges that “I think we all know there’s no planet B. We only have one Mother Earth, so we have a duty to care. And as we work and live in an industry of so much beauty and art, I always say we need to double care. I think we also agree that only together we can do it. We need measurable results. The time is now.”

The recent IPCC report is a signal of how critical it is to accelerate action. An update was given on the progress made till date. Today the WJI 2030 has 35 members and is fast advancing towards launching collaborative action projects around its three strategic pillars: building climate resilience, preserving resources and fostering inclusiveness.

WJI 2030 has just launched its first stakeholder report. Stakeholder feedback has already informed aspects of WJI 2030 governance such as the multi-stakeholder/NGO representation with voting rights on the Board, the necessity of an independent and external risk and compliance committee, the strong focus on establishing a rigorous ESG data framework, and the importance of working closely with suppliers on the ground. An external B Corp-certified legal counsel was appointed in October 2022 to ensure best practice in governance.

WJI 2030 is built on a collaborative model. Our partnerships with United Nations Global Compact on the Solutions Lab, UN Women on WEPs implementation, ESG Book on transparency reporting, and learning from other industries, such as our alignment with the Global Fashion Agenda, demonstrates our vision of an initiative that builds strength through the positive power of the collective.