As a Senior Management Team we decided that one of our 2022 Strategic CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives would be to become accredited members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is the world’s leading standard setting organisation for the jewellery and watch industry.
RJC was founded in 2005 by 14 member organisations (among them Cartier and Tiffany & Co) spanning the jewellery supply chain, from mining companies, diamond suppliers through to retailers. Today, RJC has more than 1600 members, including many of your suppliers and competitors.
The organisation promotes standards that underpin people’s trust in the worldwide jewellery and watch supply chain. The members are united by a shared belief that responsible business is good business without harm to people or the planet, working together to create a globally sustainable future for the industry.
The RJC provides strict guidelines and standards for the global jewellery and watch industry to adhere to, referred to as the Code of Practices (COPs).
The RJC Code of Practices (COP) defines the responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices that all certified RJC members must adhere to.
The COPs cover 42 aspects of the supply chain, from mining to retail, divided in 6 broad areas. Overall, the 42 provisions ensure ethical standards and sustainable focus throughout the entire business, including supply partners.
The RJC has recently updated their COP to a 2019 version, concentrating even more on protecting employees within the industry as well as consumers purchasing products manufactured across the globe. They are constantly striving to improve supply chains and ensure that all employees are treated fairly.
The RJC accreditation will provide recognition within our industry that the company’s products and operations are sustainable and adhere to the highest standards.
The accreditation gives our customers the assurance about our business, our values and our products. The RJC accreditation journey helps optimise the operational performance across the entire value chain, as we’ve examined all our processes and procedures - constantly looking at how things can be improved. Going forward, the audit takes place every 3 years.
As the company moves forward and grows, this reinforces our commitment to do so in the right way and to focus on people and consistency.
As employees, you should be proud to be associated with an organisation who has committed to these values and ethos.
The RJC certification therefore enables us to demonstrate to our customers that our practices and processes meet the highest standards set by the Responsible Jewellery Council. It is globally recognised and has ensured that we have all the correct platforms in place to take the business forward in the most responsible way.
As previously mentioned the scope of the RJC certification covers all aspects of the business which is one of the many reasons why we chose to become a member. It puts us in the same category as many other global businesses wanting to ensure long term sustainability within the jewellery industry. It has always been a strong ethos for our company to carry out our business in the best possible forward thinking way and strengthen our local communities.
The 42 different provisions cover the areas below and within our guide we explain what each one means and what we have demonstrated. This will give a much better general understanding as to what RJC certification means to you.
One of the important elements of all the Code of Practices is to demonstrate that the company is continually assessing risks that may occur. This is not only within supply chain, or regarding precious metals and stones, but that any incidence which may arise will not put the business at high risk.
This should always be constantly monitored by all areas and discussed regularly to avoid any unnecessary events taking place which could jeopardise it’s future. Throughout this process we have therefore reviewed all procedures and policies which will ensure consistency moving forward.
Curteis Limited, being a family owned/run company take this very seriously to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and have all the relevant information and support to carry out their role to the highest standard, on a daily basis.
Traditionally the employment relationship is the legal link between employers and employees. This is confirmed in an employment contract which defines the rights and obligations between both parties. This forms the basic element of our partnerships and relationships.
The major elements that we confirm we adhere to are
During the RJC process all documentation was reviewed and is regularly updated as required. Interviews took place throughout the third party audit with a percentage of employees to discuss the benefits offered and the general working environment. This ensures the company is listening to it’s employees and will make changes where appropriate. It is important that the company stays ahead of all UK law changes and all systems are in place to ensure this takes place.
Please view our Human Rights Policy
Curteis consider Health & Safety fundamental to our operations and running the factory, as producing our products safely is key to our philosophy
Every worker has the right to a safe work environment. Every company has a fundamental responsibility to ensure it’s workers are not harmed because of their work and to consider the health and safety of other people in the workplace, including visitors and local communities
The company has a comprehensive Health & Safety policy and carries out ongoing training to ensure the safety of our employees. Whilst some checks are carried out annually as per UK law, we carry out many checks on a continual basis to ensure everything retains the highest standard throughout it’s operation.
We have an excellent record and we believe a part of that reason is due to our inclusivity of the workforce and encouraging them to participate in the current and new processes to ensure we are operating in the right way.
We have a Health & Safety committee who meet on a regular basis that offers anybody the opportunity to offer opinions or options to improve any of our Health & Safety areas.
Our Health & Safety philosophy covers all elements of the business. Being a large manufacturer this is obviously paramount to ensure all our processes are well laid out and appropriate and safe. All employees undergo thorough training prior to being able to run the equipment.
It is however just as important that all employees across all areas are given the correct training to carry out their roles safely. We are conscious that we are a jewellery manufacturers and security is always high on the agenda. That is whether it is through the working day at Head Office or our employees who are out on the road or travelling to exhibitions.
As part of our Health & Safety we also consider the local community to be extremely important as all our employees reside within the area. We go above and beyond what is required to ensure that no harm is able to come to our homes and family. We try to only use materials that will not affect the environment, and where we’re not able to do that due to our processes, we do make sure that everything is carefully disposed of in the correct manner.
We review all our procedures regularly to ensure that we are the best we can for our employees and our local community.
Curteis are situated in a very rural setting and the environment is extremely important to the family and ensuring that no harm comes to our local surroundings. We spend a lot of time researching and understanding the options available in all that we do.
As members of both a global society, but more importantly our local community we have a moral duty to sustain our environment and ecosystem around us. We work to minimise any adverse environmental impacts and also believe that good environmental management makes good business sense.
This is a message which we as a company all work towards. This is keenly upheld by all employees and families who are all living in our local communities and is therefore just as important to them and their families’ futures.
The environmental management that is already in place is
We are surrounded by working farmland and it is our duty to ensure any hazardous substances are safely contained and do not pose any risk to people, wildlife or land. Substances are safely contained and disposed of by specialist companies.
We have water filter machines with additional filters to ensure the cleanest drinking water is provided for everyone.
We offer the Cycle to Work Scheme to all employees; this has received a positive response with a number of employees regularly cycling to work. We also have a number of staff who car share reducing the number of vehicles used to commute to work.
Trees are essential to maintaining our climate; they contribute to the global environment by improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. The owner has taken great efforts to landscape the grounds over the years and the building is surrounded by beautiful mature trees and plants. In the last couple of years we have also planted approximately 1000 additional trees on nearby land.
We are strongly committed to developing long-term sustainability strategies for our core areas of operations; these will include additional phases to our current solar project, introducing wind power with the aim to drastically reduce our energy consumption from the national grid.
Curteis have partnerships with many suppliers both in the UK and globally from where we source our materials, stones and product to offer to our customers. We work very hard to create strong and meaningful relationships therefore giving us confidence in our products and services.
When assessing our Supply Chain, both current and potential suppliers, we carry out an element of risk based due diligence. We believe that this is reasonable investigation by us to assess, prevent and mitigate any risks that may occur.
We do this in a number of ways
Our Supply Chain team are always keen to visit as many suppliers as possible in their place of work to enable them to have not only a better working relationship but also see first hand their facilities.
Please view Supply Chain Policy
Product disclosure refers to the proper, complete and accurate disclosure of all relevant information about jewellery products. Product disclosure within the jewellery industry depends on honesty and transparency about the nature and quality of products being bought and sold. This is especially important because end consumers rarely have good technical knowledge about the products they are buying and rely on the advice of sellers.
Industry guidelines and legal requirements exist to protect consumers and guide those working with precious metals, coloured stones and diamonds.
All products that we sell we ensure that we disclose as per UK and International laws. It is important to us as we are selling to the trade and they must have the correct information to disclose to their customers with there being no confusion.
This covers all areas including metal details and fineness, carat weights, lengths and as much information as we are able to provide.
This also covers our policies with regard to both the purchase of metals and stones. It is important that our customers understand that we purchase all our metals as per the legal requirements, including LBMA, and we only deal in diamonds that comply with the Kimberley Process and System of Warranties.
As a responsible manufacturer and in offering our experience and knowledge to the trade we recently launched Curteis Creates. This was created to enable jewellery designer/makers to come to us to receive help and advice with their manufacture. This is a process which starts from design to marketing and how to manufacture, which gives smaller jewellers an avenue to the market which previously was more difficult to access.