Gold: Recycling rate in Germany at almost 100 per cent

ESG Arnulf Hinkel, Financial Journalist – 23.05.2023

© Umicore

The global recycling rate of gold has fluctuated between 25 and 30 per cent in recent years. However, according to the German Association of Precious Metals (Fachvereinigung Edelmetalle), German gold refineries almost exclusively process easily recyclable scrap gold such as jewellery, as well as the more difficult to extract gold from smartphones, PCs, cars, etc. The remarkably high recycling rate is due to a circumstance usually regarded as a regional handicap: Germany has virtually no gold deposits.

Recovered gold is not second-rate gold

There is absolutely no difference in quality between recycled gold and mined gold. Nevertheless, there used to be concerns, especially in the jewellery industry, that recycled gold might be considered inferior by potential buyers of jewellery and gold watches. In this respect, the greatly increased awareness for sustainability issues within the general public has a positive effect on the attitude of gold jewellery buyers. Today, environmentally friendly ways of gold recovery are no longer stigmatised, and many jewellery buyers consciously choose to purchase jewellery with the smallest possible ecological footprint. The jewellery industry has adapted to this change in attitude and is playing its part in ensuring that jewellery made from recycled gold is not seen as less valuable.

Xetra-Gold deliveries: recycled gold to the greatest extent possible

As part of its efforts to actively contribute to minimising the ecological footprint of gold, the issuer of Xetra-Gold, Deutsche Börse Commodities GmbH, delivers bars made exclusively from climate-friendly recycled gold wherever possible. This means that holders of Xetra-Gold bonds can generally be certain that their gold investment is climate-friendly. After all, the CO2 emissions from the production of recycled gold are less than one twentieth of those caused by traditional mining.

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