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Our commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability

Woman at jewellers workbench

Our Ethical and Environmental Policy

We understand that jewellery making is tied to our planet, from the gemstones to the precious metals used to make jewellery. As the UK’s leading manufacturer and retailer of precious bullion products, tools and equipment to the jewellery industry, we are committed to striving towards being more environmentally conscious.

This involves looking at all aspects of our business to ensure all our operations are performed in the most socially responsible manner possible including:

  • Our manufacturing processes with recycled gold and silver
  • Ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones
  • Our facilities with improvements with waste and energy management.
  • Supply chain code of practices to supply materials and goods
  • Accreditation processes with ISO 9001, 14001 and 4501 ensuring our standards and practices are regularly reviewed and audited
  • Working towards a climate action workforce

We believe that it’s our duty to respect human rights, promote ethical, social and environmental practices to better the jewellery making industry.

We realise that we still have a long way to go in our journey, but it is something we are committed to working towards.

Read our full corporate social responsibility statement.

Leaves in the shape of a foot on grass

Addressing our Carbon Footprint

At Cooksongold we understand the need to address our carbon footprint. In 2022 we worked with a leading University in this field, to create and establish our carbon footprint. We have now produced carbon emissions report for 2021 and 2022. To view our reports click here


From our 2022 report, it's clear our strategic priority of working towards providing a complete range of gold and silver bullion products in 100% recycled metals, has had a significant impact on reducing our carbon emissions. 

We have also continued to review our entire supply chain and processes to assess where we can minimise emissions where possible. 


We acknowledge that we have a long way to go before we can be a carbon-neutral company, but we see our actions to be a step in that direction, with plans and investments in place to address as we move forward.


As we progress with our carbon reduction journey, we will update this page to provide further information on our progress.

Download our carbon emissions reports

Climate Action Workforce 

In 2022 we partnered with Ecologi, who are a gold standard accredited offset partner. Ecologi invest in projects that remove more greenhouse gases than our own carbon footprint puts in. Projects range from wind farm and solar panel installations to investing in infrastructure for communities around the world. Ecologi also work with tree planting partners, who responsibly plant trees across the globe. 

Since May 2022 we are proud to say that by partnering with Ecologi, 129 of our logistics and manufacturing operations employees are now climate active. Each month, Ecologi will offset both their business activity and personal lives (including travel) - which equates to approximately 103.5 tonnes of CO2e and planting 1,420 trees per month. 

We will continue to partner with Ecologi and are working towards an aim for our full climate active workforce by 2025. 


We offset our carbon footprint via Ecologi

Ethical Sourcing on Materials

We recognise the challenges associated with providing jewellery making materials in a responsible manner. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure the products we sell are produced and sourced in the most ethical way possible.

Precious metal wire and sheets

Recycled and Ethically Sourced Precious Metals

At Cooksongold, we are committed to striving towards ensuring that our range of precious metals are either recycled or responsibly sourced.

  • Our range of gold and sterling silver sheet, wire, grain and tube is made using 100% recycled gold and silver
  • We sell Fairtrade Gold, which is the world’s first independent ethical certification system for gold.
  • Our range of fine silver and Britannia silver bullion products are also supplied made from 100% recycled silver.
  • Our range of gold and silver wedding ring blanks are made using 100% recycled gold and silver.
  • Selected gold and silver findings and silver loose and finished chain are now also supplied as made using 100% recycled gold and silver.
  • Some of our suppliers are already using recycled metals such as our Art Clay Silver range. 
  • We are working alongside our suppliers of other precious metal goods, such as findings, to be able to offer these ranges using recycled metals. We hope to give you updates on this soon.
Gemstones scattered on a table

Gemstones Sourcing

As a natural resource, gemstones can be found almost anywhere, it is difficult to keep traceable documentation of their exact source as they are mined, cut and exchanged frequently. However, we are working towards practices to create an open and transparent process about how our gemstones are sourced.

  • We ask our suppliers to complete a ‘vendor code of conduct’ which confirms that the gemstones are sourced in a socially responsible manner.
  • Our suppliers are obligated to operate in full compliance with the laws, rules and regulations imposed by the countries in which they operate.

Diamonds

Cooksongold is committed to selling conflict-free and ethically sourced diamonds. Our range has been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in the funding of conflict, in compliance with United Nations Resolutions and corresponding UK law.

We guarantee that our diamonds are conflict-free and confirm adherence to the World Diamond Council System of Warranties (SoW) Guidelines.

two diamond rings

Supply Chain Code of Practice

We ask our suppliers to agree to a code of practice before being able to supply materials and goods to Cooksongold. Our code of practice covers ethical business practices, protecting human rights and responsible sourcing of materials.

The information we collect on our suppliers includes:

  • Does the business maintain a membership in any trade organisations including RJC and Signet's SRSP?
  • We complete our own searches and financial audits to see whether there are any records of work abuse complaints or financial misconduct.
  • Documentation on how their worksite is set up.
  • All our suppliers are obligated to operate in full compliance with the laws, rules and regulations imposed by the countries in which they operate.
Gemtones, a ring, and some pliers

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE)

Person on mobile

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE) requires UK distributors and retailers to provide a system that allows all customers buying new electrical equipment the opportunity to recycle their old items free of charge.

If you are buying a new electrical item, we will recycle your old one for FREE in our stores. Click here to learn more.

REACH Regulation

With regards to the REACH Regulation (EC1907/2006) and paragraph 10 on entry 23 Annex XVII: Cadmium(Cd) and lead(Pb) content of jewellery articles, we can confirm the following: 

  • With any of the alloys, we produce at Cooksongold in the UK, cadmium and lead are not deliberately added during the manufacturing process. 
  • Cadmium and lead only exist at impurity levels in any of our precious metal products. Cooksongold's UK Raw Material Purchase specifications typically state maximum impurity levels of 0.003(30ppm) and 0.0005 %(5ppm) for Cadmium(Cd) and Lead(Pb) respectively.
  • We do not have any internal recycling of external scrap. Therefore any impurities levels would not be expected to be equal to or greater than 0.01 % (100ppm), by weight, for Cadmium(Cd); or 0.05% (500ppm) for Lead(Pb), as is required by the regulation.
  • Historical due diligence checks show impurity levels, for both Cadmium(Cd) and Lead(Pb), to be well below the regulated limits.
  • Testing will continue to be periodically conducted to ensure compliance with the requirements.

View our statements regarding our REACH compliance

Industry Associations and Auditing Processes

Cooksongold are proud members of: 

Tools scattered on workbench

Our Improvements to Processes and Facilities

At Cooksongold we are dedicated to constantly reviewing our processes and facilities in order to reduce, reuse and recycled as much as we can.

Energy Management

At Cooksongold, we continuously review our energy usage and are working towards reducing the amount of energy used to produce and fulfil our orders to you. We are working towards a target of reducing our energy usage by 10% every year.

This has included:

  • Making our processes more energy efficient
  • Encouraging staff to switch off electrical equipment that is not in use
  • Over the last 5 years, we have replaced most of our bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs
  • Reviewing our energy usage with industry specialists to identify improvements
  • We have identified machinery and equipment with high energy usage and put them on timers so they are ramped down when not in use
  • Over the next 5 years, we are looking to replace our most inefficient equipment
lightbulb
person crushing plastic bottle in hand

Waste Management

Cooksongold aims to reduce, reuse and recycle waste where possible. We are pleased to confirm that none of our general waste goes to landfill.

We are working with a compliance service company to ensure that we comply to UK packaging waste regulations and be more sustainable. Our suppliers are also working towards complying with the same regulations.

We will continue to work on processes to be more efficient with our waste management.

Water Management

Water is a very precious resource and we are aware that it is a luxury not everyone on the planet shares.

We are developing a water management plan which includes:

  • Replacing our water meters so we can monitor our water usage more effectively
  • Reviewing our processes that use water to make them more efficient e.g. replacing a drainage water cooling system with one that recirculates water cooling from a storage tank.
  • Work towards being more efficient with our water management and consumption
water flowing from tap
cookson gold christmas catalogue 2021

Catalogue Printing

The majority of printed collateral produced for, or by Cooksongold will have met or meet acceptable accredited and environmental standards. Typically, paper or board used composed of a mix of virgin tree fibres and /or pre and post-consumer recycled matter.

All our catalogues are printed using FSC approved paper from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

Improving our packaging solutions

We recognise that packaging plays an important role in the customer delivery experience. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our packaging solutions to ensure they are delivered safely and sustainably.

 

One area we wanted to focus on, was finding an alternative to the plastic grip lock seal bags we use throughout our logistics process. It was particularly challenging for us to find a packaging solution which is translucent and something that does not tarnish metal.

 

In 2022, we’ve invested in single-use compostable cellulose bags and after a successful trial are now being adopted instead of the plastic grip lock seal bags to store findings, chain and precious metals.

What are compostable cellulose bags and their benefits?

 

Compostable cellulose bags are made from FSC certified virgin paper (wood pulp). There are many benefits to using these including:

  • Naturally biodegradable and compostable. Can also be recycled curbside.
  • Resistant to air, moisture and grease.
  • PH neutral.
  • More durable and stronger than standard paper of the same weight.
  • Translucent.
  • Static-free.

We are also looking at adding them to our range so you will be able to make a switch to more sustainable, plastic-free packaging.

Logistics

We are constantly looking at ways to improve our packaging solutions to enable us to reduce, reuse and recycle where possible in our logistics and packaging solutions.

  • Our padded jiffy bags are made with recycled paper fibre lining and are 100% recyclable. Our advice is to not cut open the jiffy bags but to pull the flap firmly to open and avoid the paper fibre from spilling out.
  • We pick items from different sections of our warehouse with multiple members involved. These items are then collated together so they can be sent out to you in one package, rather than sending multiple parcels out.
  • We are constantly researching the packaging we use to see if we can find more environmentally friendly alternatives. 
  • We are investigating paper tape as a replacement to clear and brown PVC tape we currently use, and a trial will begin shortly. 
  • We use vermiculite as our absorbent packaging material and fibre jiffy bags, rather than plastic lined. The vermiculite can be added to garden compost and the jiffy bags are recyclable.
  • The carriers we use to deliver your goods are working hard on their green credentials, for example, DPD is looking at building an all-electric delivery fleet.

Manufacturing Processes

  • We are working towards implementing the 4 R’s of sustainability in our manufacturing procedures; reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink.
  • We review our manufacturing operations to ensure we make it right in the first instance. This reduces the amount of energy and scrap needed to produce components.
  • We store all our alloys separately and in clean material streams within our factory to help minimise the amount of metal that needs to be refined.
  • Any precious metals that are leftover from the making process, is remelted and made into new parts.
  • All our precious metal and scrap is refined and recycled, for us to use again.
  • We continuously look at ways to improve our operations to make them more efficient.

Supporting our Employees

Cooksongold aim’s to provide equal opportunities to all persons regardless of their religious belief, sex, race, age or sexual orientation.

  • We have a robust dignity at work policy supported by ongoing training for our employees.
  • We are committed to paying the living wage as a base level for all our staff.
  • We support equal gender pay.
  • We have set up a mental health support service and have trained mental health first aiders.
  • We offer an employee assisted programme which offers alongside mental health other well-being initiatives including; GP access, 24/7 counselling, legal and financial support. 
  • We constantly review all company policies against best practices, our family-friendly policies offer employees enhanced maternity, paternity, miscarriage leave as well as support for IVF treatment, miscarriage and menopause.

Other Initiatives

Here are the other initiatives we are working towards to improve ethical and social and environmental at Cooksongold and the jewellery making industry.

  • We are ISO audited in 9001, 14001 and 45001 which covers our manufacturing and supply chain processes.
  • We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking. We comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Read our Modern Slavery Statement here. 
  • We adhere to the Anti Bribery Act 2010.
 
Metal prices
Mon 19 Feb 2024

Silver (AG)
588.358 KG

Gold (AU)
51.491 GM

Palladium (PD)
24.403 GM

Platinum (PT)
23.102 GM

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© 2024 Cookson Precious Metals Ltd. VAT Registration No. GB161 8062 21. Registered in England no. 2775187. Registered Office: 59-83 Vittoria Street, Birmingham, B1 3NZ
Tel: 0345 100 1122 or 0121 200 2120 Fax: 0121 212 6456