World’s Biggest Jewelry Firm Moves to Recycled Gold, Silver

Gold & Silver

(Bloomberg) — Pandora A/S, which makes more pieces of jewelry than any other company in the world, will stop relying on newly mined gold and silver and instead use only recycled precious metals.

The new policy, which takes effect in 2025, will help the Copenhagen-based company beef up its climate credentials and make it a more appealing target for investors eager to fill their portfolios with assets that meet environmental, social and governance goals.

Shares in Pandora jumped about 5% when trading started in the Danish capital, bringing gains in its market value this year to about 20%. The main Copenhagen benchmark index fell about 0.1% on Tuesday. A spokesman for Pandora said the change in policy won’t have any material impact on costs.

Chief Executive Officer Alexander Lacik said the new approach won’t drag down the quality of the jewelry produced.

“Metals mined centuries ago are just as good as new,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. Meanwhile, “the need for sustainable business practices is only becoming more important,” he said.

The Environment

Pandora says its shift to recycled precious metals will cut carbon emissions by two thirds for silver and more than 99% for gold. One of the key benefits to the environment is the considerable reduction in water use as a result of less mining, it said.

Annual emissions from the global gold market are equivalent to around 126 million tons of CO2, with more than a third of that coming directly from mining and smelting, according to the World Gold Council.

One of the industry’s most significant emissions is cyanide, which can lead to groundwater contamination, among other threats to the environment. Concerns over the risks associated with managing mines and their waste have also mounted following a fatal disaster at a Vale SA iron ore operation in Brazil, in which a dam collapsed.

Pandora says it currently uses 71% recycled gold and silver in its production, with roughly 15% of the world’s silver coming from recycled sources.

The company plans to work with suppliers to make sure it gets access to “responsibly sourced recycled silver, certified according to leading supply chain initiative standards such as the Responsible Jewellery Council.” Pandora also plans to “engage with key stakeholders in the supply chain to explore opportunities for increasing the availability of recycled silver and improve production standards,” it said.

(Adds background on gold emissions, shares)

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