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Whether it is the potential for minerals from conflict areas to find their way into products or the impact of mining on local communities, companies are increasingly expected to minimise the undesirable environmental and social consequences of production at every stage, beginning with raw material sourcing.

Reports of environmental and health & safety infractions have surfaced around the globe. In the US, concerns have been raised about the gold supplied for medals at the Olympic Games, while Ghana has had an increase in illegal mining, which has the potential to worsen conditions for both migrant prospectors and indigenous artisanal miners.

“Industry has become more aware of both the responsibilities to society and the environment but also of the interests of customers,” says Marinos.

“Customers now look to industry leaders and individual companies to implement systems both to guarantee the responsibility of their own operations and to ensure the traceability and responsible behaviour of their suppliers,” she added.

Read the full article ‘Opening the box on sustainable jewellery’

Leigh Stringer

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