01 Jun 2023
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The Jewelers Vigilance Committee Brings Forward Call to Action, Seeking Green Guides Commentary
In response to the FTC’s upcoming revision of the Green Guides, JVC seeks jewelry industry comments on environmental terminology
By: Diamond World News Service
Feb 16 2023 1:19PM
Reference: 26750  

(L-R) Tiffany Stevens, CEO & General Counsel * Sara Yood, Deputy General Counsel, Jewelers Vigilance Committee
(L-R) Tiffany Stevens, CEO & General Counsel * Sara Yood, Deputy General Counsel, Jewelers Vigilance Committee

Fiduciary to the gem and jewelry trade, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has upheld integrity, advocacy, and adherence to legal compliance since 1917. The leading authority coordinating Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commentary on behalf of jewelers, JVC facilitates industry response to the federal agency on its Guides. Last December, the FTC announced it would be revising its Green Guides, which examine environmental marketing claims, both direct to consumer and B2B. The Green Guides consider regulatory compliance: demonstrating the principles behind claims, their interpretation, and how jewelry marketers and companies qualify claims to avoid deception. A call to all members of the gem and jewelry industry, JVC is seeking public comments on the Green Guides and feedback on its environmental terminology.

“The Federal Trade Commission’s ‘Green Guides’ provide essential information for any business making environmental marketing claims.  Because these Guides are under review for the first time in over ten years, it is absolutely essential that every sector of the jewelry and watch industries come together and give input on the terminology up for review such as ‘recycled’, ‘organic’, ‘sustainable’, and more.   Jewelry and watches are just one industry that will be commenting, as these definitions apply broadly across industries, and our responses must be strong and unified to both get the attention of the FTC and set the tone of the revision process at this essential beginning stage. That will ensure the greatest chance to succeed at the ultimate goal, informing and protecting the US consumer,” says Tiffany Stevens, CEO & General Counsel Jewelers Vigilance Committee. 

As consumer interest in sustainability grows, jewelry marketers and brands shift business models to meet demand. Commonly used terms are being examined, including “recycled,” “sustainable,” and “eco-friendly.” The guides will be modified to reflect a company’s products, packaging, services, and manufacturing processes, as well as environmental claims not currently explored in the Green Guides. For businesses and manufacturing facilities promoting carbon offsets to the public, terminology such as “carbon-neutral,” “carbon-negative,” and “net zero” is on the table. It is imperative to collect, consider, and review an abundance of data across a breadth of the trade to advocate for its interest.  Comment on JVC’s FTC Green Guide Public Comment Form at https://jvclegal.org/ftc-green-guides-comments/. JVC is accepting rolling comments through March 10, 2023. 

“JVC has been the industry leader in ethics, compliance, and education for over 100 years. JVC’s role as the industry’s leader for ethics and legal compliance is well-established, including its longstanding relationships with the industry’s regulators in Washington, D.C.  Having completed previous FTC guide reviews, JVC’s expertise in bringing industry knowledge to the table is essential for the Green Guides revision process.  JVC’s legal compliance experts will shepherd the jewelry and watch industries through the revision process, both by gathering feedback from the industry and drafting comments based on the FTC’s requests,” says Sara Yood, Deputy General Counsel, Jewelers Vigilance Committee. 

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee is encouraging the trade to weigh in on the term “organic” as well, often used to described gemstones such as pearl, coral, jet, amber, and ammolite. Mobilizing the industry, the comment form was developed under the aegis of JVC to safeguard the trade.

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