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World’s biggest jeweler Pandora stops using mined silver and gold


LONDON — Pandora, the world’s largest jeweler by amount of products sold, has stopped using mined silver and gold and now only manufactures with recycled precious metals, which require less energy to produce.

The Danish company, known for its $65 to $95 charm bracelets, buys around 340 tons of silver and one ton of gold every year. Its supply chain generated 264,224 tons of CO2 in 2022, according to its annual report.

Using recycled, instead of newly mined, metals cuts Pandora’s indirect CO2 emissions by around 58,000 tons annually, said Mads Twomey-Madsen, its senior vice-president of communications and sustainability.

Recycled metal supply chains pose risks, as stolen gold can be sold as scrap to be recycled, and it is difficult to prove the origin of metals once melted down.

To mitigate the risks, Pandora uses a chain of custody standard developed by the Responsible Jewelery Council (RJC). That standard, for example, excludes gold coins and gold bars as a source of recycled gold.

Pandora, which said it reached 100% recycled silver and gold in December, is investing around $10 million a year into the switch, a cost it will absorb rather than pass on to consumers through price hikes, Mr. Twomey-Madsen said.

“We pay a premium for recycled, because we also need to help our suppliers make these transitions,” he said. Pandora declined to provide specifics on the premium.

Pandora requires its suppliers to be assessed against the RJC standard by independent auditors, including documenting the source of recycled silver. As part of the transition, Pandora suppliers had to segregate certified recycled metals from non-certified, Mr. Twomey-Madsen said.

Pandora, which sold 103 million pieces of jewelery in 2022, produces jewelery in two factories in Thailand and is building a third in Vietnam. Rivals like Monica Vinader and Missoma also advertise their use of 100% recycled silver and gold.

Metal refineries recycle silver from industrial catalysts, X-rays, electronic equipment, and old silverware. They obtain recycled gold from jewelery manufacturing waste and old jewelery. — Reuters

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