Pandora, the world’s largest jewelry brand by volume, is moving completely away from newly mined silver and gold in its products—and to reach a goal of 100% recycled silver and gold by 2025, one of the sources it turns to will be old electronics.
The company was already using large quantities of recycled gold and silver in its jewelry, but by moving fully to recycled sources, it can cut its carbon emissions further.
Using recycled silver cuts emissions from the material by two-thirds, and recycled gold emits 600 times less carbon than newly mined gold.
“Recycled silver’s share of total silver used has remained more or less flat at 15% for the last five years—and volumes haven’t changed much either,” says Twomey-Madsen.
Experts have argued for years that it’s more efficient to mine electronics for something like gold than to operate an actual gold mine—the concentration of gold contained in one ton of old mobile phones is 100 times greater than the concentration found in a gold-mining pit in the natural world.