AGC signs declaration of responsibility and sustainability principles with gold industry leaders

Artisanal Gold Council Executive Director Dr. Kevin Telmer

AGC signs declaration of responsibility and sustainability principles with gold industry leaders
Mar 7, 2024

Artisanal Gold Council Executive Director Dr. Kevin Telmer signed a Declaration of Responsibility and Sustainability Principles along with other gold industry leaders at the LBMA/LPPM Global Precious Metals Conference in Lisbon on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022

The declaration, announced at the LBMA/LPPM Global Precious Metals Conference in Lisbon, formally expresses a unified commitment by a breadth of actors in the gold industry, to operate a shared commitment to operating in a responsible and sustainable way based on a clear set of shared principles. 

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Artisanal Gold Council Executive Director Dr. Kevin Telmer signs a Declaration of Responsibility and Sustainability Principles along with other gold industry leaders at a meeting in Lisbon on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.[/caption]

“It is an excellent development. It represents a unification of value and directions for a breadth of actors across the gold industry that has not previously existed," said Dr. Telmer. "This is a wonderful and needed development because a unified industry can make more progress more quickly on important issues including for our constituency, the artisanal miners (see Principle 8). The Artisanal Gold Council is proud to have supported and signed the declaration."

Along with AGC, the declaration was also signed by LBMA, World Gold Council (WGC), Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA), China Gold Association, Swiss Association of Precious Metals Producers and Traders, London Metal Exchange (LME), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Indian Gold Policy Centre (IGPC), Indian Bullion  and Jewellery Association (IBJA), Indian International Bullion Exchange (IIBX) and World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), and the Watch and Jewellery Initiative 2030.

The group has agreed on 10 key sustainability objectives, including commitments to responsible sourcing standards, respect for Human Rights, the advancement of the UN SDGs, and action and disclosures on climate change. 

The 10 sustainability principle are as follows:

  1. Aligning gold industry practices and operations with the relevant responsible sourcing standards
  2. Supporting the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by working with partners in government, industry, and civil society.
  3. Respecting human rights by aligning the gold industry’s activities with the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the core labour rights of the International Labour Organisation, including an absolute commitment to high safety and health standards.
  4. Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organisations and across the industry, supporting the representation and participation of people of different genders, ages, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, religions, cultures and sexual orientations.
  5. Considering the impact of the gold industry’s activities on Indigenous Peoples and other potentially vulnerable populations.
  6. Improving the gold industry’s understanding of its impacts on climate change and to reporting its positions on climate change, aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on ClimateRelated Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
  7. Working to reduce the gold industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, in line with goals of the Paris Agreement.
  8. Exploring opportunities to support responsible Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) in the formalisation of the sector, to improve its environmental, social and governance performance, and to encourage closer engagement between ASGM actors and the formal gold supply chain.
  9. Encouraging industry-wide participation and collaboration in advancing and implementing these Principles.
  10. Reporting on progress in the implementation of these Principles

Gold industry participants understand that environmental and social concerns are increasingly important in shaping investment and policy decisions, as well as wider consumer and societal expectations. Whilst there has been significant progress in addressing many issues through industry-led initiatives and performance standards, it is important and timely that the gold sector adopts a clear collective statement of its principles, awareness and intent.

As part of the commitment to the declaration, Signatories agreed to closer collaboration and reporting on progress in the implementation of these Principles. They will also be able to demonstrate their commitment through adherence to initiatives that are designed for specific activities within the supply chain, such as the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles and the LBMA’s Responsible Gold Guidance.

Building on the Declaration, gold industry players will continue to work with governments, international organisations, other private sector actors, and civil society to define and support robust standards of integrity and governance.

Ruth Crowell, Chief Executive Officer, at the LBMA, said: “The gold supply chain is complex and global, and industry participants are on different stages of their sustainability journey. I am pleased that we have been able to define a shared pathway to progress and unite our industry around these Principles. By coming together in this way, we can demonstrate our collective commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices.”

David Tait, Chief Executive Officer at the World Gold Council, added: “It is very pleasing to see the gold industry co-operate in this way, from mine to market, to commit to these Principles of Responsibility and Sustainability.”