RJC News

Responsible Jewellery Council appoints Iris Van der Veken as new Executive Director

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the jewellery industry’s foremost standard setting and certification body, has appointed Iris Van der Veken as its next Executive Director, effective today.

A sustainability pioneer, with a career spanning the business and NGO sectors, Van der Veken has wide-ranging international experience in the diamond, gold, jewellery and fashion industries. Van der Veken is the first woman to become the organisation’s Executive Director and replaces Andrew Bone who was appointed in June 2015.

She worked extensively on the Alignment Assessment of industry programmes with the OECD minerals guidance and the development of awareness programmes on the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in the UAE. Van der Veken was also a frontrunner in building partnerships in supply chain management and GRI reporting, chaired the Global Compact Network Belgium and initiated a forum on children’s rights and the role of business.

With more than 1,100 members spanning 73 countries, she will work with the board of directors and management team to ensure operational excellence throughout the RJC – benchmarking against some of the world’s leading accreditation bodies.

Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council, said: “The RJC’s mission has never been more relevant for today’s consumers and the industry. My focus is on serving our member companies and varied stakeholders to deliver long-term growth and value creation. As the industry changes, we can ensure that manufacturers, retailers and consumers are educated about the importance of responsible sourcing in all minerals.

“Across our diverse supply chain, I know that our members can continue to have further positive impacts on the communities around their operations, and believe in the significant contribution RJC can make as a leading standards organisation and its commitment to do so.”

David Bouffard, Chairman, Responsible Jewellery Council, said: “The RJC Board is delighted to appoint Iris to the role. She is a strong, dynamic and value-driven leader, and her wealth of experience and expertise will be tremendously beneficial in strengthening our strategic decision-making and ensuring the organisation continues to deliver against our ambitious objectives for the next several years.

“We thank Andrew for his leadership and the excellent work he has overseen during his four years with the organisation.”

Further Information

Olivia Saunders-Smith
Marketing & Communications Team
Responsible Jewellery Council
+44 207 321 0992 ext. 206

About Responsible Jewellery Council

Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is the leading standards organisation of the global jewellery and watch industry. It has 1,500 member companies in 71 countries, that span the jewellery supply chain from mine to retail. RJC Members commit to and are independently audited against the RJC Code of Practices – an international standard on responsible business practices for diamonds, coloured gemstones, silver, gold and platinum group metals. The Code of Practices (COP) addresses human rights, labour rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure and many more important topics in the jewellery supply chain. RJC also works with multi-stakeholder initiatives on responsible sourcing and supply chain due diligence. The RJC’s Chain-of-Custody Certification (CoC) for precious metals supports these initiatives and can be used as a tool to deliver broader Member and stakeholder benefit. Through the implementation of the COP and CoC members contribute towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 agenda. RJC’s Roadmap 2030 is a framework for our industry with respect to the most impactful contributions our members can make through their supply chains. Impacts deepen consumer confidence and are linked to priority SDGs, they are presented according to the five pillars of sustainable development – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships. In April 2021, RJC launched the SDG Taskforce, an industry-wide action platform to advance the sustainability agenda and benchmark progress in the jewellery and watch supply chain.

RJC is a Full Member of the ISEAL Alliance – the global association for sustainability standards. RJC complies with the ISEAL Standard-Setting Code which specifies general requirements for transparent and accountable preparation, adoption and revision of sustainability standards.

RJC is also a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) since 2009. RJC and UNGC entered into a first-of-its-kind strategic partnership in 2020 and launched the ‘SDG Innovation & Impact in the Jewellery Industry” programme. In 2021 RJC deepened this commitment by supporting the UNGC SDG Ambition global impact initiative to accelerate integration of the 17 SDGs into core business management. SDG Ambition enables companies to move beyond incremental progress and step-up transformative change – unlocking business value, building business resilience, and enabling long-term growth.

For more information on RJC Members, Certification, and Standards please visit www.responsiblejewellery.com and connect with us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.