By Michelle Graff
Carlsbad, Calif.—The Gemological Institute of America is convening a panel of five leaders from retail, mining, and manufacturing in Las Vegas to talk about sustainability and consumer expectations today.

Moderated by GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques, “Embracing Sustainability Amid New Consumer Expectations” is scheduled to take place at JCK Las Vegas at noon on Friday, May 31, the first day of the show.

The panel discussion will focus on the need for small and large companies to have sustainable business practices and to communicate what they do to consumers, many of whom are looking to buy from brands and companies that contribute positively to the world around them.

The panelists are:

Dr. Saleem Ali, a Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, who will provide an overview of the environmental and social impact of the gemstone industry;  

Lisa Bridge, president, and CEOof Ben Bridge Jeweler, who will talk about communicating social responsibility to employees as well as consumers;

Marcus ter Haar, managing director of Okavango Diamond Company—the company that just cut that big blue diamond mined in Botswana—who will share an overview of how natural diamonds contribute to economic development and employment in mining communities;  

Claire Piroddi, sustainability manager for watches and jewelry at luxury goods conglomerate Kering (Boucheron, Pomellato, etc.), who will share how the early adoption of sustainability by Kering-owned brands transformed their perception among consumers; and

Swarovski’s Nadja Swarovski, who will talk about the sustainability initiatives in manufacturing, including the company’s lab-grown diamonds.

“Corporate social responsibility is a growing consumer expectation, and companies need to account for it,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA senior vice president, and chief marketing officer. “Our industry can benefit from amplifying sustainability efforts of retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers.”

Registration for “Embracing Sustainability Amid New Consumer Expectations” is recommended, as space is limited. Box lunches will be provided.

Those interested in registering can do so on the GIA website, which also contains more information about GIA’s offerings at JCK



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