Pandora, a major jewellery brand, has declared a significant change in its materials sourcing strategy, opting to use only recycled silver and gold in the production of its renowned jewellery line.

The decision aims to reduce the company’s environmental impact, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

Mining, a conventional method for obtaining silver and gold, demands more energy and resources compared to recycling. The carbon footprint associated with recycled silver is notably lower, constituting only one-third of that from mined virgin silver.

Similarly, recycling gold emits less than 1% of the carbon emissions generated by mining virgin gold.

By embracing recycled materials, Pandora anticipates a yearly reduction of approximately 58,000 tons (t) of carbon dioxide (CO₂), equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 11,000 homes or the emissions from 6,000 cars circumnavigating the globe.

CEO’s perspective: a commitment to sustainability

Pandora’s CEO, Alexander Lacik, expressed the potential of recycling precious metals indefinitely without compromising quality.

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By GlobalData

He highlighted the role improved recycling processes can play in significantly reducing the climate footprint of the jewellery industry.

This underscores the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmentally conscious practices.

Milestone achieved ahead of schedule

In 2020, Pandora set a goal to source 100% recycled silver and gold for its jewellery by 2025. Remarkably, the company has surpassed this target, achieving the milestone by the end of 2023, thanks to the unwavering dedication of its suppliers.

All suppliers underwent a transition, committing to source materials certified as recycled according to the Responsible Jewellery Council Chain of Custody – one of the strictest standards in the industry.

This shift necessitated new processes and equipment to ensure the complete separation of mined and recycled metals throughout the supply chain, encompassing sorting, melting, and manufacturing.

More than 100 Pandora employees actively participated in facilitating this transition.

Less than a fifth of the world’s silver supply comes from recycled sources

Looking ahead, Pandora anticipates using 100% recycled silver and gold in all new jewellery creations from the second half of 2024, allowing time for the depletion of its existing metal inventories.

In 2023, an impressive 97% of the silver and gold used in Pandora’s jewellery was sourced from recycled materials.

Despite this positive development, it is worth noting that currently, less than 20% of the world’s silver supply originates from recycled sources, primarily derived from discarded electronics, old jewellery, silverware, manufacturing scrap, and other industrial waste.

The collected recycled silver undergoes a refining process, removing impurities and enabling its recasting for reuse in jewellery production.