IWC ACHIEVES RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY COUNCIL CHAIN-OF-CUSTODY CERTIFICATION
Schaffhausen, 4th March 2021 – IWC Schaffhausen is proud to announce it has attained Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). This voluntary standard, which complements the RJC’s Code of Practices (COP) IWC already adheres to, certifies that the gold and platinum used in the company’s supply chain are fully traceable and responsibly sourced. With successful certification, the Swiss luxury watchmaker has taken a significant step towards its goal of offering watches made from fully traceable precious metal components.
Founded in 2005, the not-for-profit RJC is the world’s leading standard-setting organisation for the jewellery and watch industry, dedicated to promoting the best environmental, social and ethical practices from mine to retail. In addition to its mandatory Code of Practices (COP), which all members are independently audited for company-wide, the RJC also regulates voluntary CoC certification to monitor the traceability of the flow of precious metals. Always proactive and invariably pushing to go above and beyond expected requirements, IWC applied for RJC CoC certification last year in line with its 2022 sustainability targets.
Complementing the COP’s focus on business integrity and responsible supply chains, CoC accreditation ensures that relevant material, whether mined or recycled, is fully traceable and responsibly sourced through strict management systems and rigorous third-party audits. Moreover, proving that a company’s supply is identified and documented as theirs, at every location along a chain, tells a product’s complete story from source to boutique. Being audited to the CoC standard represents a key step in achieving this goal, and is a significant moment in IWC’s sustainability journey, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to transparency
“As a company built on innovation, we are proud to once again be recognised by the RJC as a leading light for responsibility in the luxury watch industry. IWC makes watches that will tick sustainably across generations, and part of that promise is for our timepieces to be made responsibly from start to finish. We have always placed great importance on integrity, traceability and strive to maintain trusted long-term sourcing relationships. Reaching this milestone in our precious metals supply chain is testament to our efforts and those of our suppliers.”
COMMITTED RJC MEMBER SINCE 2012
IWC has been dedicated to transparency in business for many years and places great importance on establishing supply chain traceability. It has a long-standing commitment to sourcing materials untainted by conflict, human rights abuses, child labour, or environmental damage and all of its trusted suppliers for precious metals and diamonds are certified RJC members. The Swiss watchmaker joined the RJC nine years ago in 2012; after recognising the Council’s crucial role in upholding responsibility standards right across the global jewellery supply chain, in line with UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Due Diligence Guidance. Successfully certified to the COP standard in 2014 and 2017, IWC led its sector in 2020 by becoming the first luxury watchmaker to meet the more stringent COP standards introduced by the RJC in 2019. This revised code included stronger provisions for responsible business practices, activities and supply chain management.
Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council added, “I would like to congratulate IWC on their RJC Chain of Custody certification. Integrating sustainability in your core business strategy is a process of continuous improvement. This key milestone shows their continued investment in responsible business practices. Our global and often complex supply chains, present both unique challenges and opportunities. We welcome IWC leadership and dedication in advancing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda.”
To find out more about how IWC manages its sourcing and supply chain with such care and to learn about its other sustainability targets, read the 2020 Sustainability Report.
IWC’S SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY TO DATE
FEBRUARY 2021 – IWC attains Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
JULY 2020 – IWC releases the second edition of its pioneering sustainability report in accordance with global reporting initiative (GRI) standards.
APRIL 2020 – IWC becomes the first luxury watch brand to meet the new 2019 code of practices (COP) standard set by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
SEPTEMBER 2019 – IWC becomes the first Swiss luxury watch brand to obtain certification from “Great Place to Work”.
APRIL 2019 – IWC introduces ground-breaking new packaging, greatly reducing emissions from shipping.
JANUARY 2019 – IWC Schaffhausen signs the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, undertaking to ensure that by 2025, all plastic in our packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable, and to also take steps to eliminate all single-use plastic throughout our business.
DECEMBER 2018 – IWC is ranked as the best-performing company in the Swiss watch and jewellery sector in a WWF Switzerland report examining the environmental impact of 15 brands.
APRIL 2018 – IWC is the first Swiss luxury watch brand to publish a sustainability report utilising the GRI’s global best-practice standards.
2018 – IWC introduces FSC-certified, 100% recycled and recyclable shopping bags.
2017 – IWC publishes its first Sustainability Report (non GRI) and receives a bronze award in sustainability at the 2017 International CSR Excellence Awards.
2014 – IWC receives an award for the best CSR in Switzerland by Capital Finance International.
FROM 2014 – I WC is certified in accordance with the Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practices.
FROM 2014 – IWC receives its first Positive Luxury Butterfly Award Mark. The company has been a recipient of this award since then.
2012 – IWC joins the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and wins the Walpole Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility.
THE RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY COUNCIL
The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit standards and certification organisation. It has more than 1,200 member companies that span the jewellery supply chain from mine to retail. RJC Members commit to and are independently audited against the RJC Code of Practices – an international standard on responsible business practices for diamonds, coloured gemstones, gold, silver and other precious metal groups. The Code of Practices addresses human rights, labour rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure and many more important topics in the jewellery supply chain. RJC also works with multi-stakeholder initiatives on responsible sourcing and supply chain due diligence. The RJC’s Chain-of-Custody Certification for precious metals supports these initiatives and can be used as a tool to deliver broader member and stakeholder benefits. Through COP and CoC implementation, members contribute towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 agenda.
In 1868, the American watchmaker and entrepreneur Florentine Ariosto Jones travelled from Boston to Switzerland and founded the ‘International Watch Company’ in Schaffhausen. His visionary dream was to combine advanced American manufacturing methods with the craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to make the best pocket watches of his time. In doing so, he not only laid the foundation for IWC’s unique engineering approach but also established the centralised production of mechanical watches in Switzerland.
Over its 150 year history, IWC Schaffhausen has developed a reputation for creating functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars, which are ingenious, robust, and easy for customers to use. A pioneer in the use of titanium and ceramics, IWC today specialises in highly engineered technical watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as titanium aluminide and Ceratanium®. Preferring the principle of “form follows function” over decoration, the Swiss watch manufacturer’s timeless creations embody their owners’ dreams and ambitions as they journey through life.
IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment, creating intrinsically sustainable timepieces that are built to last for generations. The company prides itself in training its own future watchmakers and engineers, as well as offering an excellent working environment for all employees. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.