On 13 November 2018 at an event hosted in Singapore’s exclusive members’ club, 1880, Chopard discussed how it is using 100% Ethical Gold in its jewellery and watches.
HER Planet Earth Founder, Christine Amour-Levar, shared a panel with with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard, Wei Koh, Founder of The Rake & Revolution and Marc Nicholson, Founder of 1880, to discuss Chopard's commitment to sustainability.
Chopard defines “Ethical Gold” as gold acquired from responsible sources, verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards.
Chopard gold is being responsibly sourced from one of two traceable routes:
In order to further increase its contribution in artisanal gold miners’ improvement initiatives and therefore contribute to a further growth of volumes of ethically extracted gold, Chopard joined SBGA (Swiss Better Gold Association) in 2017.
“We are incredibly proud of being able to say that all of our gold is being purchased from responsible sources. Chopard’s vision is to increase, as much as it possibly can, the proportion of artisanal gold the Maison buys as it becomes more available on the market. Today, Chopard is the largest buyer of Fairmined gold. It is a bold commitment, but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible”, said Scheufele.
Chopard has been able to achieve this because more than 30 years ago, they developed a vertically integrated in house production, and invested in mastering all crafts internally, from creating a rare in-house gold foundry as early as 1978, to the skills of high jewellery artisans and expert watchmakers. Chopard watches and jewellery are beautifully crafted in-house, this means the Maison is in the unique position to be able to guarantee control of all processes; from manufacturing to final product, therefore controlling the gold used in its products.
In 2013 Chopard took the long-term decision to directly invest in artisanal gold, to bring more artisanal gold to the market. By providing financial and technical resources in partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Chopard were directly responsible for a number of small scale mines achieving Fairmined certification. This then allows the small-scale mining communities to sell their gold at a premium price whilst ensuring mining is undertaken in line with strict environmental and social conditions. Chopard also helped establish new trade routes from the mines they source from in South America, bringing traceable products into Europe and providing further financial income into local communities.
This announcement also marked the next phase of Chopard’s sustainability programme - The Journey to Sustainable Luxury – as the luxury watch and jewellery house unveiled its alignment with the UN Global Goals. As a responsible company, Chopard wanted to go above and beyond compliance and measure how the Maison can contribute to the achievement of the ambitious and much needed UN Global Goals; including contributing to decent work, reduced inequality and responsible resource consumption.
“Sustainable luxury is indeed the way of the future. It is not an eco-friendly product seeking a premium image but instead, it is a luxury product with sustainable values. It is another option to conserving our planet since consumers would be channelling their purchasing power to where they might do the least harm — by buying sustainable luxury goods. It is not only good for the planet but it makes absolute business sense in the long term. I applaud Chopard’s efforts and their leadership initiative in this area,” said Amour-Levar.