May 11, 2006
CRJP Adopts Statement of Principles at First Meeting
The Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices (CRJP) voted to adopt a statement of principles covering business ethics, social performance and environmental principles during its first board meeting on May 2.
Preceding the board meeting, the CRJP also elected officers and board members for the upcoming year at its first general meeting. As a result of the elections, Matthew Runci of Jewelers of America continues to serve as chairman. Martin Leake of BHP Billiton was elected vice chairman, Tim Dabson of Diamond Trading Co. was elected treasurer, and Mark Jenkins of Signet Group was elected honorary secretary.
CRJP also elected representatives for its various forums, which give representation on the board to each sector within the diamond and jewelry industry. Ruth Batson of American Gem Society and Philip Olden of World Gold Council were appointed to the Trade Association forum. Steven Lenahan of Anglogold Ashani Ltd. was named to the Mining forum. Rajiv Mehta of Dimexon Diamonds Ltd. and Charles Bonas of Bonas & Co. head up the Diamond Trading, Cutting and Polishing forum. And Stanislas De Quercize of Van Cleef & Arpels and Phillipe Leopold-Metzger of Piaget were elected to the Retail forum.
The CRJP board formally adopted the Statement of Principles listed below, which were finalized after the council requested feedback from inside and outside the industry. Available for download at he principles guide the council's Code of Practices, which is currently in draft form and is being reviewed by stakeholders until this July.
Next on the council's agenda is exploring the implementation of a third-party validation process, which would allow for objective, independent evaluation of how well CRJP members are adhering to responsible business practices.
"This organization is about seeking to ensure responsible behavior throughout our industryıs supply chain, and that takes time," said Terry Burman, CEO of Signet Group. "It is a very worthwhile and ambitious endeavor. Therefore we must set realistic expectations and clearly articulate how we intend to move forward."
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY PRACTICES
As Members of the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices, we seek economic, social and environmental benefits from our business activities so that we contribute to Sustainable Development. 
1.1 Business Ethics
1. We are committed to conducting our businesses to a high ethical standard, and to ensuring integrity, transparency and conformance with applicable law.
2. We will not engage in bribery and/or corruption
3. We will not tolerate money laundering and/or financing of terrorism.
4. We will adhere to the Kimberley Process Certification System and the World Diamond Council voluntary system of warranties
5. We will fully and accurately disclose the material characteristics of the products that we sell.
6. We will take reasonable measures to ensure the physical integrity and security of product shipments.
7. We will respect commercial confidentiality and data privacy.
1.2 Social Performance
1. We believe in and will respect the fundamental human rights and the dignity of the individual, according to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
2. We will not tolerate the use of child labour.
3. We will not use any forced, bonded, indentured or prison labour, nor restrict the freedom of movement of employees and dependents.
4. We are committed to high standards of health and safety in our operations.
5. We will not prevent workers from associating freely. Where laws prohibit these freedoms, we will support parallel means of dialogue.
6. We will not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, marital status, physical appearance, age, or any other applicable prohibited basis in the workplace, such that all individuals who are "fit for work" are accorded equal opportunities and are not discriminated against on the basis of factors unrelated to their ability to perform their job.
7. We will not use corporal punishment under any circumstances and will prohibit the use of degrading treatment, harassment, abuse, coercion or intimidation in any form.
8. We will adhere to working hours and remuneration legislation, or, where no such legal requirements have been established by law, the prevailing local industry standards.
9. We will support the development of communities where we operate, contributing to their social and economic welfare.
10. We will recognise and respect the rights of indigenous peoples and the value of their traditional, cultural and social heritage.
1.3 Environmental Performance
1. We will conduct our businesses in an environmentally responsible manner.
2. We will manage our environmental footprint by eliminating or minimising negative environmental impacts.
3. We will ensure the efficiency of our business operations by managing our waste and our use of water and energy.
 The Council bases its understanding of Sustainable Development on the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) definition: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."