The Dutch government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced the gold sector as one of the top 17 risk sectors in which serious violations against the UN sustainable development goals in the areas of human rights and the environment occurred. The Dutch government wanted to explore what could be done to control and minimize the abuses of human rights and the environment by better understanding how and where along the chain these violations occur.
TheRockGroup was contracted by the Dutch government to explore the violations in the gold sector and the best ways to minimize the risks. To do this TheRockGroup facilitated, chaired, and participated in the first Gold Confidante or voluntary agreement to look into the supply chain of gold. We started by bringing together representatives from the gold and electronic industries, government, and NGOs in a multi stakeholder discussion.
The aim of this multi stakeholder discussion was to identify where abuses to human rights and the environment occur in the gold supply chain and work towards a solution together. Transparency in the supply chain is the best way to minimize risk of violations and abuses along the chain and so TheRockGroup together with stakeholders jointly explored the gold supply chain. Initially the complexity of the gold chain seemed to hamper the ability for transparency in the chain. However, we found that there are opportunities for transparency and following the supply chain in the gold smelters, the location where gold comes together to be melted, and in small stream smelters with fair trade gold. It was also important to identify how the Dutch market participated in the gold industry and this was explored further as well. It was found that 98% of gold used by jewellery goldsmiths in the Dutch jewellery industry was recycled gold.
Do you want to know more? Visit the IMVO Convenanten website.