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World’s largest jeweller Pandora to use recycled instead of newly mined silver and gold

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By Colin Hay - 
Pandora recycled gold silver jewellery mined

Leading international jeweller Pandora has reported it can save 58,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being produced each year by using recycled instead of newly-mined silver and gold.

The Danish company, best known for its charm bracelet offerings, has elected to change its precious metals supply to only use recycled silver and gold for all its jewellery, claiming it will remove a significant amount of mining-related greenhouse gas emissions.

It claims the carbon footprint of recycled silver is one-third that of 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,” the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Lacik said.

“Silver originally mined centuries ago is just as good as new and improved recycling can significantly reduce the climate footprint of the jewellery industry.”

“Silver and gold are the most used precious metals in Pandora jewellery.”

“In 2020, Pandora set a target to source 100% recycled silver and gold by 2025 and now the company has reached this milestone earlier than expected – by the end of 2023 ­– thanks to strong commitment from its suppliers.”

Suppliers on notice

Pandora has informed its suppliers that they must switch their operations to only source materials that are certified as recycled according to the Responsible Jewellery Council chain of custody, one of the strictest standards in the industry.

“For many, this has introduced new processes and equipment to ensure complete segregation of mined and recycled metals across the entire supply chain including sorting, melting and manufacturing,” Mr Lacik said.

More than 100 Pandora employees have been involved in the transition work.

100% target within reach

Pandora is aiming to commence crafting all new jewellery with 100%-recycled silver and gold from the second half of 2024.

In 2023, 97% of the silver and gold sourced for Pandora’s jewellery was recycled.

“Today, less than 20% of the world’s silver supply comes from recycled sources, typically from discarded electronics, old jewellery, silverware, manufacturing scrap and other waste from industry,” Mr Lacik said.

“Once collected, recycled silver undergoes a refining process where impurities are removed and the metal is recast to be used again.”

According to Pandora, avoiding around 58,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year is similar to the annual electricity use of 11,000 homes or driving 6,000 cars around the world.