THOM Europe’s earnest and resolute ESG programme

Responsible sourcing, human resources more involved in employees’ growth and development and safety in the workplace are central to THOM Europe’s sustainability initiatives. Today, Europe’s leading jewellery seller would like to go even further and is aiming for excellence in ESG, as Romain Peninque, the group’s CEO, explains.

More finely-targeted ESG initiatives

THOM Europe has always been active on the ESG front, but the group stepped up the pace in 2019. “We decided to pursue ESG in both a determined and a consistent manner”, says Romain. To do this, the group is putting the finishing touches on an internal committee that will coordinate ESG. “More than 30 compliance items must be verified. The committee will also be charged with creating a clear roadmap, to ensure we move in the right direction on all of these topics”, he specifies.

The committee will make it easier to integrate all of THOM Europe’s responsible development initiatives around three strategic avenues: ethical sourcing, responsible HR management and safety in the workplace. These topics will showcase the group’s five overarching values: high standards, commitment, teamwork, simplicity and audacity.

Towards even more responsible sourcing

In 2018 alone, THOM Europe launched a dozen environmental and social initiatives. In sourcing, the jewellery company defined specific charters for employees and suppliers that require adherence to distinct environmental responsibility clauses and to the good practices of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The group also subjects diamond suppliers to a rigorous selection process. They must prove that none of their stones come from war zones.

When a new head of purchasing took over at the end of last year, the group strengthened its responsible sourcing even further. “He audited each of our suppliers around the world and at our various production sites”, says Romain. “At the group level, these visits enabled us to ensure that our partners’ employees work under good conditions and also to verify their age. We are extremely attentive to both of these issues.”

To go still further, THOM Europe will recruit a quality manager this year to help suppliers make their production more respectful of the environment. “Defective products create waste, customer dissatisfaction and have a negative impact on the entire value chain.” So, THOM Europe plans to improve its recycling and destruction procedures so as to reduce its environmental footprint.

Training, coaching and quality of life at work are the major HR topics

With regard to quality of life at work, numerous projects have also been launched. In the first place, THOM Europe wanted to evaluate itself as an employer, so all executives were interviewed and a social barometer questionnaire was sent to all employees.

At the same time, THOM Europe ensured that all employees enjoyed a high-quality work environment. For example, the group’s harassment unit was strengthened. As another example, a better training system for store employees was implemented. “In 2018, employees benefited from a total of 25,017 hours of training, vs 23,681 in 2017”, Romain is pleased to report. “With regard to safety, all employees in our points of sale benefited from e-training courses on our intranet.”

Talent needs to be supported throughout employees’ careers, and to accomplish this, HR managers attend bespoke coaching sessions. “The My HR tool will help supervisors manage all of their annual performance reviews and better support employees as they develop within the THOM Europe group”, says Romain. “We now have many highly skilled employees. We want to encourage them to invest in their future, remain committed to the group and be proud to help it grow and develop.”

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Apax Talks is a digital magazine aimed at company managers. It presents growth levers for SMEs, with a focus on TMT, consumer, healthcare and services sectors.