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Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) Code of Practices (COP) 2019 Standard

ICMM’s Mining Principles are aligned to other responsible mining initiatives through a shared objective of improving environmental, social and governance practices at the operational level. However, there are points of difference between almost all standards and initiatives.

The equivalency benchmarks will be reviewed and updated on a periodic basis. In some cases, an update will be made out of sequence, for example where a standard undergoes a significant revision.

It is the responsibility of benchmark users to ensure they are checking the latest requirements of each standard, in case changes have been made which have not yet been reflected in the benchmarks.

Recent updates to the Mining Principles include:

The purpose of this and other equivalency benchmarks is to:

  • Transparently demonstrate to customers, investors, and other interested parties the extent to which ICMM’s Mining Principles are equivalent to the requirements of other standards and initiatives.
  • Avoid the risk of different interpretations of equivalency by stakeholders by coming to mutual agreements between ICMM and the owners of other standards and initiatives.
  • Enable all interested parties to have access to a mutually agreed equivalency assessment that would enable efficient joint third-party assessments of implementation progress where appropriate.
  • Facilitate cross-recognition of companies’ validation by other standards and initiatives to avoid duplication of third-party assessment work (where the validation process of the other scheme is equally credible and robust as ICMM’s Validation Procedure).

The Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practices (COP) 2019 Standard

The RJC Code of Practices (COP) 2019 Standard defines the requirements for establishing responsible business practices throughout the jewellery supply chain, from mine to retail. The COP provides a common standard for ethical, social, human rights and environmental practices, and COP certification is mandatory for all RJC commercial members. COP certification provides a strong system for assuring stakeholders, shareholders, customers and business partners that a company conducts its business responsibly. This can add value to a company’s products and help protect and enhance its brands.

More importantly, COP certification can reduce risks and vulnerabilities in a company’s supply chain and improve management systems and operating procedures to strengthen the business and make it more sustainable. It simultaneously leads to better social and environmental conditions within the broader industry, bringing positive impacts for workers, communities and environments alike.

Basis for assessing equivalency

The assessment of equivalency has been made based on whether or not a requirement, or a combination of requirements from the RJC COP cover the same scope of activities and intended outcomes for each of the PEs associated with ICMM’s Mining Principles, including the individual company member commitments contained within ICMM’s Position Statements. This can be the case even if there are minor differences in the detail or language used.

Using these tables for joint implementation or cross-recognition

These tables can be used to inform what an asset will need to do in order to meet the requirements of both ICMM’s Mining Principles and the RJC COPs and could inform joint validation for both schemes. Evidence can be gathered for one scheme, and then supplementary evidence can be gathered to fill the gaps to meet the requirements of the second scheme. Validation of all evidence can then be conducted at the same time.

For ICMM member assets that have undergone third-party validation through RJC in the last three years, ICMM will ‘recognise’ this validation, so assets do not need to repeat the validation for those requirements deemed equivalent in this table, for which the asset has already demonstrated conformance using RJC’s assessment process.

In this case, the asset could refer to this framework to complete its self-assessment and third-party validation for ICMM’s Mining Principles, which provides the equivalency assessment outcome for each individual RJC COP. In the equivalency column of ICMM’s self-assessment form, the asset can indicate whether the requirements of the RJC COPs ‘partially meet’ or ‘meet’ (including ‘exceeds’) any given PE. The asset must provide evidence that it is in conformance with the relevant requirements of the RJC COPs as listed in this table for that PE. If the PE is ‘partially met’ by the RJC COP requirements, the highlighted text and notes in the main benchmark table will say what additional evidence is needed to meet the PE.

RJC equally recognises third-party validations against the ICMM’s Mining Principles in its Assessment Process. For more details on RJC’s recognition process, see https://www.responsiblejewellery.com/standards/standards-developmentharmonisation/.