Nonprofit association, the International Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA), has launched an Accredited Ethical Member programme (AEM) – an online questionnaire – which, upon completion, will recognise ICA members for their responsible, ethical and sustainable trading practices.
The AEM is an educational tool, promoting best practices among ICA members, thereby improving consumer confidence and enhancing industry good-will.
The accreditation programme was designed exclusively for ICA members as a practical self-audit and a voluntary pledge on responsible sourcing. The programme is also a stimulus for continuous improvement.
In the process of creating the AEM, the ICA worked closely for the past several years with the American Gem Trade Association and The World Jewellery Confederation (Cibjo), developing strategies to continuously improve how coloured gemstones are traded.
AEM programme chairperson Damien Cody says it is intended that ICA members who undertake this accreditation process will understand more fully their duty of care within the gem and jewellery supply chain and improve the practices within their organisation.
The AEM consists of a series of steps containing key ICA and industry objectives, outlining the elements of responsible sourcing. This includes the ICA code of ethics, duties of disclosure and Cibjo's Responsible Sourcing Book.
Upon submission and satisfactory completion, the ICA grants the member the status of an Accredited Ethical Member. Each member receives holographic AEM seals that can be affixed to sales dockets and invoices as evidence that the member has been granted the AEM accreditation.
ICA CEO Gary Roskin says members who complete the online accreditation will now be listed as an ICA-accredited ethical member in the ICA's online membership directory.
To maintain the AEM status, members will need to undertake the accreditation online each year and be a member in good standing.