Corporate Responsibility Challenges and Jewellery SMEs

A new paper was recently published, using data collected during the first part of the Jewellery SMEs project. Co-authored by Dr Marylyn Carrigan, Dr Morven McEachern, Dr Caroline Moraes and Dr Carmela Bosangit, the paper is titled The Fine Jewellery Industry: Corporate Responsibility Challenges and Institutional Forces Facing SMEs.

In this paper, the researchers look at the challenges faced by Jewellery SMEs in implementing CSR.


Understanding Ethical Luxury Consumption

A new paper, using data collected during the first part of the Jewellery SMEs project, was published in 2015. Co-authored by Dr Caroline Moraes, Dr Marylyn Carrigan, Dr Carmela Bosangit, Dr Carlos Ferreira and Dr Michelle McGrath, the paper is titled Understanding Ethical Luxury Consumption Through Practice Theories: A Study of Fine Jewellery Purchases.

In this paper, the researchers look at the difficulties of making CSR visible in luxury products, and suggest a framework for embedding ethical aspects in jewellery consumption.


Responsibility in Fine Jewellery Consumption (ESRC Festival of Science )

The Centre for Business in Society will deliver a seminar on the topic of responsibility in fine jewellery consumption, as part of the upcoming ESRC Festival of Social Science 2015. The seminar will take place on Wednesday 11th November 2015, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, at the Birmingham Assay Office (1, Moreton street, Birmingham, B3 1AX).

Corporate social responsibility and ethical consumption research is employed to inform and improve business practice in many industries. The jewellery sector has made slow progress in this area, mainly because it perceives business responsibility to be irrelevant to jewellery consumers. In this event we will showcase recently published research on jewellery consumption to explain whether and how consumers embed ethical and responsibility concerns in their jewellery shopping.

This event will help raise industry awareness about what matters to jewellery consumers with regards to the social, economic and environmental impacts of their purchases, and can help firms, trade associations and policy makers to embed responsibility in their practices, in ways that matter to consumers and society at large.

Organised by Professor Marylyn Carrigan and colleagues, the seminar will share research findings related to consumer behavior and ethical practices, and what can be done to nudge consumers to shop for jewellery in a responsible way. Judith Lockwood, Managing Director, Arctic Circle Diamonds and Michael Rawlinson, CEO National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) will also present an industry perspective on responsibility in jewellery, followed by an interactive discussion with the audience on issues of concern for the jewellery industry. The event has potential for networking and scoping areas for future research around the environmental, social and economic impacts of the global jewellery industry.

Places are limited, so registration is essential. To register for this event please email:

Attendees should arrive promptly for 5.30. The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception at the Birmingham Assay Office.

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A report on SMEs and jewellery

A new report has been published on the role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in responsible supply chains. Titled Assessing and Enhancing the Contribution of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises to Due Diligence for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, the report was authored by Dr. Yolande Kyngdon-McKay, with contributions from Angela Jorns, Estelle Levin and Yifang Song. The research was commissioned by the German Federal Government. You can read the report here.

Prof Marylyn Carrigan was interviewed as part of the evidence base in the research, and our team’s own findings are quoted in te references.

The report reinforces once again the important role of jewellery SMEs in promoting responsibility in their supply chains.

CBiS jewellery study forms evidence base for OECD-UN led Joint Forum on Conflict Minerals

On May 5th Professor Marylyn Carrigan presented findings from the CBiS jewellery research as evidence to the 9th ICGLR-OECD-UN GoE Joint Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains at OECD headquarters in Paris.

In a session titled ‘Challenges for downstream implementation of the Due Diligence Guidance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)’, the CBiS team’s research contributed to a debate about due diligence implementation by SMEs in four different sectors (automotive, electronics, medical technology and jewellery industries).

The evidence contributed to a forum review and discussion by international government representatives, companies and NGOs of the ongoing implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism, and other initiatives to enable responsible mineral supply chains; the forum was supported by the Instrument for Stability of the European Union.

Business Ethics and Responsibility – ESRC ‘Keywords’ Seminar

The Centre for Business in Society, in partnership with the ESRC, is organising a ‘Keywords” seminar on the topic of business ethics and business responsibility. The seminar will take place at the Coventry University Technocentre, on the 10th June 2015. The Jewellery SMEs project team is involved in organising and delivering this seminar, as the topic reflects our own interest in ethics and responsibility in the Jewellery industry.

You can find more details about this seminar here.

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SMEs Uptake, Access and Impact of Certification in the Jewellery Supply Chain: Report

Julia Möllenhoff, Helena Quinn, Ingrid Sjögren (postgraduate students from the Graduate Institute of Geneva) have published a report on certification in the jewellery supply chain, focusing on SMEs. Titled Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Uptake, Access and Impact of Certification in the Jewellery Supply Chain, the report makes the following recommendations:

  • A need to convince the SMEs of the opportunities from certification, by stressing internal and external benefits.
  • Motivating SMEs throughout the supply chain requires that large companies attach equal importance to the RJC standard.
  • Make the RJC material more accessible to SMEs: provide translations in all communications and clarify questions in the self-assessment questionnaire.
  • Provide face-to-face, affordable and reliable support.
  • Create a database containing contact details of consultants and non-commercial support to whom SMEs can turn for guidance at national level.

The study was sponsored by Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, and co-supervised by the Responsible Jewellery Council. The final report can be downloaded here.

Blood Gold & Diamonds — We Can’t Just Throw Money at the Problem

Implementing CSR in the jewellery industry involves more than spending money: it involves engagement, cooperation and organisation at various levels.


artisanal minersThe spectre of blood diamonds — this time mingled with blood gold — has again risen to haunt the global gem and jewellery industry. The horror stories are now pouring in from the Central African Republic, which is the setting this time.

The global industry has to ask itself why this is happening. Despite the really sincere efforts of many within the industry and concerned non-governmental organisations, the setting up of the Kimberley Process and monitoring committees, we’re again dealing with product that is dipped in human blood.

The reason for this is that we’ve forgotten what the core problem is. Despite the luxury consumer product segment that our industry operates in, the sourcing of much of its raw material from the unorganised sector is unheeding of the fact that neither diamonds or gold have improved in any significant way, the hard, poverty-stricken lives of the artisanal miners.

Opinion_LogoThe problem…

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CSR and Jewellery SMEs: a report

The Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, has published a report of findings from the project Responsible Business Practices in SMEs: The Case of the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter. The research team was composed of CBiS members Prof Marylyn Carrigan, Dr Caroline Moraes and Dr Carmela Bosangit, with contributions from Dr Carlos Ferreira (CBiS), Dr Morven McEachern (University of Salford) and Dr Michelle McGrath (University of Winchester).

Titled Signalling Change: Jewellery SMEs and Corporate Social Responsibility, the report is aimed at the jewellery industry, CSR practitioners and policy-makers. It covers the opportunities and challenges faced by jewellery SMEs in implementing CSR in their day-to-day business, as well as the (potential) role of consumers in the process, with potential insights into how SMEs might do well by doing good.

The results of this project will inform the upcoming BJA and CBiS Course: Understanding Jewellery Social Responsibility.

BJA and CBiS Course: Understanding Jewellery Social Responsibility

The British Jewellery Association (BJA) and the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) at Coventry University have teamed up to offer a new jewellery social responsibility training opportunity. This half-day workshop offers basic level training for small and medium sized jewellers who wish to understand more about the principles of jewellery social responsibility and how it can support their business and customers.

Date: 16 April 2015

Location: Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, B18 6LT

For more details, and to sign up to this course, please visit the BJA website.

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