GIA (Gemological Institute of America), an industry leader in gemological research, education and science-based gem evaluation, joined the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 (WJI 2030) as part of the Institute’s ongoing commitment to collaborative efforts to advance sustainability in its operations and activities, and throughout the global gem, jewelry and watch industry.
“GIA is very proud to support the ambitious goals and aspirations of WJI 2030 as an extension of our commitment to a more sustainable future for the world, our industry and our Institute,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO. “We look forward to bringing our expertise, resources and focus on protecting consumers to support this important new initiative.”
The co-chairs of WJI 2030, Cyrille Vigneron, president and CEO of Cartier International, and Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer of Kering, shared, “We welcome GIA to WJI 2030 as the first gemological research, education and laboratory organization to join. WJI wants to grow naturally through purpose-driven leadership. The Institute, with its expertise and mindset for positive change, will bring great added value to building a strong, inclusive and impactful framework for our initiative.”
Speaking before the first WJI member workshop, held October 26 in Paris, France, Iris Van der Veken, WJI 2030 executive director and secretary general, said, “We are very pleased to welcome GIA to WJI. GIA brings with it a deep commitment to consumer protection, unparalleled understanding of the industry, a commitment to science-based standards and a well-deserved reputation for independence and trust.”
At the same event, Johanna Levy, GIA’s vice president of environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) programs, said, “Supporting WJI 2030 will build on GIA’s many existing sustainability initiatives. Our next steps are to carefully document our footprint and set science-based targets to reduce that footprint.”
As an affiliate member, GIA will work with WJI to develop robust ESG content for its industry-leading education programs to help prepare the next generation of industry leaders to further advance sustainability within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.
Earlier this year, GIA committed to issuing only digital gemological reports by 2025, avoiding the use of 20 tons of paper and 18.5 tons of plastic each year and reducing shipping-related carbon emissions. GIA also added the GIA Source Verification Service to its gem origin programs, addressing the consumer desire and market need for verified diamond source information. Another program, the GIA gem guide for artisanal miners launched in 2017, continues to have a verifiable positive impact on the livelihoods of individuals – many women – and mining communities in East Africa. GIA has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2012 and is a long-time member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.