Platinum Guild Releases Results of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Consumer Study
(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — As an organization representing platinum producers committed to ethical, social and environmental standards, PGI USA recognizes the importance of integrating ESG into business practices. In an effort to better understand the mindset of fine jewelry consumers when it comes to ESG, the trade organization behind the world’s most precious metal commissioned a study on the topic as it relates to ESG. purchase of fine jewelry. The objective of this research was to determine which ESG factors are most important to the consumer of fine jewelry and to explore the impact of these factors.
The research was based on a December 2021 online survey of 500 U.S. consumers who purchased or received a fine jewelry piece worth more than $1,000 in the previous two years. Respondents were evenly split between men and women, aged 18 to 65, and had household incomes of $50,000 or more. About a third of respondents had given or received platinum jewelry in the past 2 years; shoppers spent an average of $1,500, with necklaces and rings being the most popular pieces.
The study focused on four key areas of assessment: the materiality of ESG aspects; the adequacy of sustainability aspects with high jewelry; the impact on the purchase decision; and the willingness to pay more for a durable piece of jewelry.
The research yielded four key findings:
Consumer understanding of the definition of sustainability varies
Buzzwords such as sustainable sourcing and eco-friendly traceability fit best when consumers think of sustainability. However, human rights and fair labor practices are most likely to influence their buying decision.
Durability is ranked fourth among important factors influencing consumers’ selection of fine jewelry
While durability is important to a good portion of fine jewelry consumers, it doesn’t have as much of an influence on their selection as quality, design, and the metal used. While many consumers cite sustainability as being about responsible jewelry production, environmentally responsible practices, and fair labor laws, some also cite it as being tied to the durability and quality of the piece, putting highlight an unclear definition and understanding of the word among consumers.
Young consumers lead the conversations with the jeweler on sustainability
About two in five respondents have had conversations with their jeweler about sustainability. These discussions are largely driven by 18-39 year olds, and the topics focus on how the part was made, where the materials came from, and the quality/durability of the part.
Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainability aspects
Although consumer understanding of the definition of sustainability varies, most consumers say they would pay an average of 15-20% more for all aspects of sustainability, especially environmental responsibility, human rights and fair labor practices.
“We believe it is important for our industry to have an ongoing commitment to sustainable practices at all levels of the business,” said PGI USA President Jenny Luker. “In order to be highly effective in this space and to bring value to our partners and the industry as a whole, we felt it was necessary to conduct a study that would show the basis of what it really means sustainability for consumers, allowing our future communications to be received more effectively.
ESG continues to be an ongoing priority for PGI USA, as evidenced by the organization’s recent sponsorship of the Women’s Jewelry Association Foundation Responsible Business Education Fellowship, which enabled two members to enroll in a top-notch sustainability course at New York University’s Stern. Executive Training School. ESG will continue to be a common goal for both organizations as they collaborate again on a webinar to be presented virtually on Thursday, April 14, during which 360 Market Reach’s Senior Director of Research will introduce attendees the main conclusions of the PGI study. results of the latest ESG studies. To register for the webinar, visit WJA’s website.