Gem-A appoints Vivien Johnston as ethics manager

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Vivien Johnston to take the lead on Gem-A CSR policies.

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) is forging ahead with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies by appointing luxury ethical retailer and Chair of the Jewellery Ethics Committee UK (JECUK), Vivien Johnston, as its new ethics and CSR manager.

The decision follows the latest ethics-focused World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) congress in Moscow, which promoted the message of “sustainability, transparency and disclosure”, by increasing member awareness of humanitarian issues in diamond and gemstone supply chains.

Since 2009 Gem-A has been working alongside Johnston, the BJA, NAG, and Fairtrade Gold Founder, Greg Valerio, as part of the UK’s Jewellery Ethics Committee (JECUK) to assess the feasibility of a system of auditable supply chains and ethical standards in the UK.

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Gem-A has continued this work, combining with the UN and CIBJO-backed CSR management solution Branded Trust to monitor and report on its own in-house business practices in relation to CSR, whilst actively promoting the central themes of CSR to its members.

To assist with the continual improvement needed in lobbying and policy making, the appointment of Vivien Johnston is “the next logical step for the Association”, explains Gem-A CEO James Riley.

He continues: “We’ve been working alongside CIBJO, the UN and JECUK for the last four to five years to bring light to the issue of CSR and Ethics in the diamond and gemstone supply chain. However, our work here has only just begun, and if we really want our members and the wider industry to take CSR seriously, we need to be showing we mean business.

"This is just one of the reasons Vivien Johnston will be working with us over the coming years: to shore up our own business practices, as well as acting as a voice for the industry in relation to CSR and issues of ethics.”

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