Sustainability begins with products that will last a lifetime and be passed down through generations

A Limited Resource We Must Safeguard

Regarded as a taonga (treasure) in New Zealand and a gift from Papatūānuku (Mother Earth), pounamu is a limited resource that must be safeguarded.

Mother and baby

So, what does that mean for Mountain Jade?

It means we are committed to protecting our treasure, the environment it is found, and the community in which we do business. We will always strive to do as least harm as possible when creating our carvings.

We’ve got several initiatives underway to reduce our impact, like engaging with artists who share our values, and reducing the amount of packaging and waste we produce. We’re proud of what we’re doing in the sustainability space, but there’s plenty more to do! Here are some sustainable actions we currently champion and some goals we are working towards.

Man inspecting pounamu
Two artists working

Working with Artists Who Share Our Value

Firstly, we choose to work with artists who are deeply connected to the jade they use and take extreme care to honour and fully utilize each piece of stone. We reduce waste by turning even the smallest offcut of stone into a pendant or piece of jewellery such as earrings, rings and bracelets which can be loved and cherished for a lifetime.


Sourcing stone responsibly

New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that does not mine for its jade, the stone is instead fossicked in riverbeds and glacial valleys. In the late 1990s, the New Zealand government vested ownership and guardianship of all pounamu to the South Island tribe of Ngāi Tahu. As kaitiaki (guardians), Ngāi Tahu ensures any raw pounamu is sustainably and ethically sourced to make sure our taonga (treasure) is safeguarded for future generations. This includes not just caring for the stone but also protecting and advocating for the rivers it comes from, the artists that shape it and the communities that surround it.

Packaged with love and care

Ensuring we are as respectful as possible to the environment while endeavouring to share the beauty of jade, is something we will continue to work on as a business, constantly looking for ways to improve our practice. This is precisely what we had in mind when redesigning our packaging. Although we are not perfect, we tried to ensure we had the least environmental impact possible, again, working with suppliers that share this similar viewpoint.

Your piece will come in an environmentally friendly jewellery box that is made from cardboard, includes no plastic, and can be recycled. This jewellery box can be used for future storage and safekeeping of your piece. Your jewellery box will then be securely placed in a low-ink, recyclable card shipping box (used to protect the piece in transit). Any packaging that secures your piece inside this shipping box is made from recycled or recyclable paper or tissue.

To ship your piece, we’ve opted for home compostable shipping mailers by r3pack, that are made from plants and plastic-free. These bags are proven and durable, and we are confident they will get your product to you without ripping. For our international customers, we have also chosen to use DHL’s GoGreen Plus services as part of our commitment to aiming towards Climate Neutral Shipping.

packaged pounamu
Packaged ponamu
Where possible, your piece will also come with a mini artist profile card and a mini design meaning card, placed inside a small pouch. The paper used is from sustainable forests and grown especially for paper production and trees are replanted.If you choose our premium gift-wrapping service to make your gift extra special, your gift will be wrapped in our New Zealand fern-inspired kraft wrapping paper, which is recyclable and eco-friendly, made with 20% recycled content.

Being as sustainable and respectful as we can be to the environment while endeavouring to teach the beauty of jade is something we are committed to as a business.

Jade tool

Product Care

We are committed to carving stones that will last for generations. However, everything needs a little love from time to time. The way you care for your jade can have the biggest impact on the environment, so we’ve put together some product care advice to help you look after your pendant or jewellery and make sure it can be cherished forever.Occasionally, cords can come unravelled, and accidents can occur, such as chipping or cracking your stone on a hard surface. If this happens, don’t panic. We know that repairing before replacing is easier on the earth, so we have put together recommendations to help you fix your jade pendant or jewellery and help to protect our limited resource.
Two woman speaking

Empowering Others

We want to motivate our employees to join us on our sustainability journey, and have started an internal sustainability committee to share ideas and make improvements to our business together. We try to empower our team to think and act sustainably as part of their role. From turning off lights, to recycling, and only printing when necessary, we aim to encourage the right environmental choices while at work.We also provide our team with some tools to help them care for the environment, including reusable Mountain Jade keep cups and water bottles, hybrid vehicles, and budgets to offset their carbon emissions when flying.
Delivering Our Experiences

We love it when you visit us in Rotorua and Auckland International Airport, and we want to make sure the experience you receive at our stores has as little impact as possible on the environment. In 2024, our Rotorua Store & Carving Studio was certified by Ekos as being Net Zero Carbon. This means we are reducing our impact by offsetting our carbon emissions. By investing in certified carbon credits, we are supporting projects dedicated to the growth and preservation of forests in New Zealand. We're very proud to be reducing the impact our store and carving studio has on the environment, and we're working towards achieving this for our entire business.

Wall of pounamu
In our retail stores we use halcyon LED lights which carry an A/A+ energy rating, and ensure all heating and air conditioning units are on timers and do not run unnecessarily. Our store fit out uses considered materials, prioritising items which are durable and reusable, and choosing resources which are sustainable and natural, including glass, metal, and wood. We also pick locally available resources when possible.In our carving studios, we aim to reduce pollution which comes from our creations by using multiple ‘settling tanks’ to ensure any water leaving the premise is as clean as possible. We conserve energy by turning off our machinery when its not in use and use non-toxic materials where possible.
Carving for Generations

Sustainability begins with products that will last a lifetime and be passed down through generations. The gifting of pounamu and passing it down through generations spans far back in Māori history, and it has long been the belief that as heirlooms are gifted and passed, they increase in mana (prestige) and carry with them rich histories and stories. It is also thought that pounamu has spiritual value and takes on the mauri (life force or essence) of the person wearing or wielding the stone - and as it is passed down through generations, it continues to encapsulate the spirit, energy, and strength of previous wearers.

Carving for Generations is our way of explaining how we do business - creating stones that last forever while doing the least to harm the environment.

carving pounamu

Who we work with to help protect the environment

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