Now more than ever, consumers are sensitive to the environmental impacts of their shopping decisions. A Platinum Guild International (PGI) cross-market survey conducted during the third quarter of 2022 confirmed that a great majority of consumers in four countries — the US, China, India and Japan — believe that responsible jewelry sourcing is critical to their buying decisions.
Exactly 94% of Indians, 87% of Chinese and 72% of Americans said that when buying jewelry it was "Important" to know that items were denoted as responsibly sourced. Only 34% of Japanese respondents said it was "Important."
Three-quarters of the Indian respondents rated responsible sourcing at the highest level ("Very Important"), compared to 41% of Chinese, 44% of Americans and 12% of Japanese. Less than 4% of consumers in India, China and the US said responsible sourcing was "Not Important At All." Japanese consumers were least sensitive about the issue, with 15% answering "Not Important At All."
Responding to a widespread demand for information about this subject, PGI launched a special portal to help both consumers and tradespeople navigate the actions taken by platinum mining companies to abide by industry-leading guidelines. These cover environmental standards, social impact and governance practices.
"Leading platinum producers, who are also funding PGI, are actively driving a wide range of activities that put the environment and society at the heart of what they do," said Huw Daniel, CEO of PGI. "This platform showcases some of these initiatives that drive responsible platinum production and support local communities."
While the bulk of all platinum mined each year is used in jewelry fabrication, the new portal points out platinum's key roles in other industries, as well, including automotive, energy, medical and chemical.
For example, platinum is an important ingredient in diesel catalysts to reduce emissions and the brilliant white metal is also a key component of the hydrogen economy, which has the potential to provide zero-emission vehicles and energy storage solutions that all contribute to combating climate change. Platinum is also biocompatible and used in pacemakers and other medical instruments placed in the body, and platinum-based therapies have been at the forefront of cancer treatment.
More than 80% of the world's total platinum comes from one of four countries: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada and the US. According to PGI, the majority of the platinum used to make jewelry is produced in accordance with the robust Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards.
Credit: Image by BigStockPhoto.com.