IWC is the first watch brand to attain the 2019 Code of Practices (COP) standard’s new level of certification set by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). Since it was founded in 2005, the RJC has provided a clear Code of Practices for members within the watch and jewellery sector, from mining to retail, to ensure ethical, social, and environmental responsibility. COP certification is mandatory for all RJC commercial members. It provides a strong system for assuring stakeholders, shareholders, customers, and business partners that a company conducts its business responsibly. IWC first joined the RJC in 2012, gaining the 2013 COP certification in both 2014 and 2017.
The Code of Practices, according to the RJC, is a “living document” and the RJC reserves the right to revise it at any time. This ensures all involved that the materials used, whether it be gold, silver, diamonds or coloured gems, that everything passed the ethical, social, human rights, and environmental practices standards set by the Responsible Jewellery Council.
Last year, the RJC unveiled a revised version of their COP standard, which included stronger provisions for responsible business practices, activities and supply chain management. As soon as the reviews standards came into force, IWC asked to be rectified to the new 2019 COP standard. Opening the business to be verified b independent third-party auditors, the company was judged to be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
“IWC is honoured to become the first Swiss luxury watch brand to receive this more stringent level of certification,” explained IWC’s CMO and Sustainability Committee Chair Franziska Gsell. “Being a member of the RJC allows us to examine every aspect of our business through their well-respected lens to ensure we are meeting the rising ethical demands of our consumers and employees. Our product is designed to last for generations, and becomes truly sustainable when it is made responsibly.”
Now that IWC has a COP certifications, they are now working on the Chain of Custody (CoC) standard that defines an approach for companies to handle and trade gold, silver, and platinum group metals in a way that is fully traceable and responsibly sourced. IWC is now working with its carefully selected suppliers to come one of the first Swiss watch brands to attain this CoC certification of specific gold components.