In a mighty step for sustainability, the world’s largest jewellery brand, Pandora, announced it will entirely stop the use of newly mined silver and gold in its jewellery by 2025, and will only buy from recycled sources. This will cut carbon emissions by two thirds for silver, and by more than 99% for gold – a staggering environmental advance for both metals.
The pledge from the jewellery giant is the first of its kind, with Pandora the first major jewellery brand to take this step. While sustainability and responsible business practices have always been part of Pandora’s operations, the new decision to entirely shift to a recycled-only model further compounds its ethos and respect to resources, environment and people.
“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,” says CEO, Alexander Lacik. “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, 71% of the silver and gold in Pandora’s jewellery comes from recycled sources. But it simply wasn’t enough for the brand. The decision to completely shift to recycled silver and gold bears great environmental benefit: it will reduce CO2 emissions, water usage and other environmental impacts. The continued mining for virgin metals is heavily polluting the planet, while in contrast, the recycling of metals uses less resources than mining new ones. 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.
As the world’s largest jewellery maker by volume – using hundreds of tonnes of silver every year – the decision will also have a great impact on the global silver market. Silver is the most used material in Pandora jewellery, accounting for over half of all purchased product materials measured by weight.
Today, around 15% of the world’s silver supply comes from recycled sources, however more silver can be recycled – and still retain their quality. “Silver and gold are beautiful jewellery materials that can be recycled forever without losing their quality,” adds 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.”
As a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and signee of the UN Global Compact, 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.
One small silver charm, one giant leap for mankind.