Pandora, the world's largest jewellery maker by volume, will stop using newly mined silver and gold in its jewellery by 2025 and only buy from recycled sources. According to the brand, the shift will cut carbon emissions by two thirds for silver and by more than 99% for gold.
Silver is the most used material in Pandora jewellery, accounting for over half of all purchased product materials measured by weight. Pandora also uses smaller volumes of gold, palladium, copper and man-made stones such as nano-crystals and cubic zirconia.
The decision to use only recycled silver and gold covers all use of these metals in Pandora’s jewellery, including grains, semi-finished items such as chains, and other parts from suppliers.
“Silver and gold are beautiful jewellery materials that can be recycled forever without losing their quality. Metals mined centuries ago are just as good as new. They will never tarnish or decay. We wish to help develop a more responsible way of crafting affordable luxury like our jewellery, and prevent these fine metals from ending up in landfills. We want to do our part to build a more circular economy,” said Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik.
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From 71% to fully recycled
Today, 71% of the silver and gold in Pandora’s jewellery comes from recycled sources. Shifting completely to recycled silver and gold will reduce CO2 emissions, water usage and other environmental impacts, because recycling of metals uses fewer resources than mining new metals, the Copenhagen-based company said.
"The carbon emissions from sourcing of recycled silver are one third compared to mined silver, while recycling of gold emits approximately 600 times less carbon than mining new gold, according to life cycle assessments," Pandora said in a statement.
Today, around 15% of the world’s silver supply comes from recycled sources. More than half of the recycled silver comes from industry, where the metal is used in chemical production, electronics and for other purposes.
Pandora said it will work with its suppliers to guarantee sufficient supply of responsibly-sourced recycled silver, certified according to leading supply chain initiative standards such as the Responsible Jewellery Council. Pandora will also engage with key stakeholders in the supply chain to explore opportunities for increasing the availability of recycled silver and improve production standards.
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The decision to use recycled precious metals follows Pandora’s decarbonisation targets announced in January. In 2020, the company will source 100% renewable electricity at its two jewellery crafting facilities in Thailand, and by 2025 the company will be carbon neutral across its entire operations. Pandora has also joined the Science Based Targets initiative – a corporate collaboration for action on climate change – and will publish a plan next year to reduce carbon emissions in its full value chain in line with the Paris Agreement.
“The need for sustainable business practices is only becoming more important, and companies must do their part in response to the climate crisis and the depletion of natural resources,” said Lacik.