Jewellery giant Pandora has announced it will entirely stop using mined silver and gold in its jewellery by 2025 and only buy from recycled sources.
In a move towards becoming even more sustainable, the use of only recycled metals will cut carbon emissions by two thirds for silver and by more than 99% for gold.
“Silver and gold are beautiful jewellery materials that can be recycled forever without losing their quality,” says Pandora’s chief executive officer, Alexander Lacik. “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 that these fine metals end up in landfills. We want to do our part to build a more circular economy.”
Chief creative officer, Stephen Fairchild, adds: “It is becoming increasingly important to consumers that fashion and jewellery products are manufactured in a sustainable manner. Sustainability and quality have always been core values for Pandora, and since we know that our customers care about where and how our products are made, we have been using recycled metals in our designs for years.
“We design our jewellery to last knowing that our fans keep their Pandora jewellery for a long time. Gold and silver never lose their quality, so by using only recycled metals, we are able to offer high quality, affordable jewellery that is even better for the environment.”
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 use less resources than mining new metals. 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.
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.
“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,” the CEO continues. “For many years, Pandora has used recycled metals in our designs. Now we are ready to take the next step and stop using mined silver and gold altogether. This is a significant commitment that will be better for the environment and make our jewellery more sustainable.”
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 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.
The decision to use recycled precious metals follows Pandora’s ambitious decarbonisation targets announced in January. In 2020, Pandora 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 – the leading 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.