Life cycle assessment for a jewelry manufacturer

CASE STUDY | PRé conducted life cycle assessments for two popular pieces of jewelry from a major manufacturer, both metal rings. The client requested this to gain additional supply chain transparency and establish baselines for product comparison.

September 20, 2012

Life Cycle Assessment for a Jewelry Manufacturer


The Challenge

A major jewelry manufacturer wanted to conduct Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) for two popular metal rings to gain additional visibility into its supply chain and establish baselines for comparison to similar products.


PRé Solution

PRé conducted a workshop with the client's staff to familiarize personnel with LCA, establish clients’s primary objectives for the study, and determine key suppliers to be contacted. Following this workshop, PRé worked with the client's employees and key members of its supply chain to collect primary data and to verify assumptions for the different stages of the value chain. The resulting model was used to quantify the environmental impacts of the two different rings.

PRé determined that the extraction and refining stage at the mine is primarily responsible for the impacts associated with these two rings. Because of the importance of the mining phase, an additional regional investigation of gold mining (illustrated to the left) was conducted to better understand global production differences in energy consumption.

A secondary benefit of the ring LCA was to uncover the relatively significant contribution of the retail stage to overall energy and carbon emission impacts. The retail phase impacts, which were greater than those at manufacturing on a per unit basis, were largely due to lighting used to display the jewelry and consequently provides an opportunity for the client to improve environmental performance within its own operations.


Business Value

Working with PRé, the client discovered the following project driven benefits:

  • Creation of a benchmark for comparison to other jewelry products
  • Understanding of the relative impacts of metals sourced from different global regions
  • Discovering the importance of the retail stage for its product’s life cycle impacts


Please contact our experts to learn more about this project.



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Cashion East
Cashion East
Senior Consultant