Pandora has made a pretty significant change. The world’s largest jewellery brand has announced that it has changed its precious metals supply and is now sourcing only recycled silver and gold for all of its trademark bracelets, necklaces and other pieces of jewellery. The decision aims to reduce the company’s environmental impact, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Mining simply requires more energy and resources than recycling. By working with metals that have already been mined, Pandora won’t be digging deeper in search of new materials, allowing the company to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, by using recycled materials instead of newly mined silver and gold, Pandora avoids about 58,000 tons CO2 every year, which it says is similar to the annual electricity use of 11,000 homes or driving 6,000 cars around the world. The carbon footprint of recycled silver is one-third compared to mined silver, while the recycling of gold emits less than 1% of the carbon emissions from mining new gold.
“Precious metals can be recycled forever without any loss of quality. Silver originally mined centuries ago is just as good as new, and improved recycling can significantly reduce the climate footprint of the jewellery industry,” said Pandora Chief Executive Alexander Lacik.
In 2020, the Danish company set the goal to completely transition to recycled silver and gold by 2025, meaning they’ve reached the milestone much earlier than expected. Last year, 97% of its supply was recycled.
To meet the aggressive target all Pandora suppliers have had to switch their operations to only source materials that are certified recycled according to the Responsible Jewellery Council Chain of Custody, one of the strictest standards in the industry.
Allowing time for the depletion of existing inventory of metals, Pandora expects that it will craft all new jewellery with 100% recycled silver and gold from the second half of 2024.
According to the company, less than 20 percent of the world’s silver supply comes from recycled sources, typically from discarded electronics, old jewellery, silverware, manufacturing scrap and other industrial scrap.