New York, February 09 2023 – The Watch & Jewellery Initiative (WJI) 2030 announced a new collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact launching a Small Medium Enterprise (“SME”) SDG 2030 Solutions Lab.
This strategic collaboration focuses on educating SMEs in the global watch and jewellery industry on key topics, including design thinking in sustainability, decent labour, human rights due diligence, climate action, biodiversity, and inclusiveness with a focus on gender and intersectionality.
The Solutions Lab aims to provide a harmonised practical education programme with key expertise from the UN Global Compact and key stakeholders to guide the sustainability journey of SMEs in the global jewellery and watch industry to enhance transparency and operationalise sustainability throughout the value chain. Other topics in the solutions lab will include innovation and technology to attract youngsters to our industry to train in artisanal and other skills.
It is estimated that SMEs constitute more than 70% of businesses in the global jewellery and watch industry.
These enterprises are often family businesses committed to doing good but require additional capacity-building through education and practical toolkits. A stakeholder consultation led by the WJI 2030 determined the SME and supplier community needs more practical guidance and alignment on key sustainability topics.
Using a data-driven practical approach through this project with the UN Global Compact, the WJI 2030 plans to launch a working group in March 2023 in collaboration with CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation; BJOP, the French Union of Jewellery; and the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano. The objective is to develop a replicable and scalable framework to enhance responsible supply chain practices that should lead to a value-creation strategy for all SMEs in the global jewellery and watch industry, increase transparency reporting, and show progress over time.
During the project’s initial implementation, participating future-forward SMEs will receive hands-on, personalised guidance and assistance to start the journey. A formal consultation process will be launched where key associations, NGOs, and jewellery and watch players can contribute on the content development. Best practices will be shared in the WJI 2030 Solutions Lab and shared with the broader industry.
Given the pivotal role SMEs play in driving economic development, poverty reduction, job creation, economic emancipation, and overall well-being, the SDG 2030 SME Solutions Lab seeks to prove that it is possible – and profitable – for small businesses to do the right thing, the right way, in the global jewellery and watch industry.
Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Institutional Affairs, Kering, said: “We are happy to witness today’s launch of the UN Global Compact SME collaboration – it is a great new step for the WJI 2030. The roadmap is clear, and we need to collaborate with all key stakeholders to make this a successful pilot. It is our aim to explore long-term systematic solutions that will advance sustainability in our wider supplier communities.”
Cyrille Vigneron, President & CEO, Cartier International, commenting on the launch, said: “All Sustainable Development Goals require sectors cooperation between clients and suppliers through the entire value chain. This implies large corporations as well as small and medium size companies. By translating and adapting the SDG to these small and mid size companies, they will get the framework they need to build concrete actions plans and sustainability road maps, consistent with their clients and own suppliers plans.”
Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director & Secretary General, Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 said:
“SMEs are at the heart of the global jewellery and watch industry. The 2030 agenda is about leaving no one behind. It is an important moment to step up and work closely together and take the SDGs as a catalyst for responsible business, growth and innovation across the value chain with a focus on the SME’s. We will invite key stakeholders around the table to share best practices, develop practical and meaningful tools to strengthen transparency and operationalise sustainability into their businesses. We have an enormous opportunity and duty to attract young talent to inspire them to work for our industry. That will require a new mindset of design thinking in sustainability and more cooperation than ever.”
About the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030
Cartier, delegated by Richemont, and Kering launched the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 driven by a common conviction that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspirations for a sustainable industry can only be achieved through collaborative initiatives. The global initiative is open to all watch and jewellery players with a national or international footprint. It is committed to a common core of key sustainability goals in three areas: building climate resilience, preserving resources, and fostering inclusiveness. The association is based in Maison de La Paix in Geneva. For more information, visit our website www.wjinitiative2030.org
About the United Nations Global Compact
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 17,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at www.unglobalcompact.org