Tiffany committed to new sustainable mining standard

Tiffany & Co. has reaffirmed its sustainability commitments through its work as a founding member of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), according to the jewellery company's latest CSR report.

The report, released today (5 August), announces that there has been significant progress in developing a global standard for responsible and sustainable mining through IRMA, with Tiffany & Co. collaborating as a founding member.

The far-reaching IRMA standard was released in draft form last month for industry consultation, covering all aspects of the mining industry and setting out industry standards for human rights, workplace safety and minimising environmental damage as well as leaving a positive legacy. The first IRMA certification of mining sites is expected in early 2015.

Tiffany & Co. chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski said: “The mining industry, and those of us that rely on it, must demand more than ‘lowest common denominator standards’ – standards that drive change on the ground at mines. We enthusiastically support IRMA as a genuine, multi-stakeholder third party assurance system seeking to do just that.”

The report states that 46% of Tiffany & Co.’s precious metals – gold, silver and platinum – were directly traceable to mine. Its diamond sourcing is monitored by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which requires participating governments to establish control over private sector diamond mining and trading to eliminate the flow of conflict diamonds. Tiffany & Co. reports that 100% of rough diamonds purchased from suppliers are now traceable to known mines and sources.

“Tiffany & Co. is committed to obtaining precious metals and gemstones and crafting our jewellery in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible – our customers expect and deserve nothing less,” added Kowalski.

Improved emissions targets

The report also announces a new global greenhouse gas emissions target for 2020. Having achieved a 10% reduction in emissions across its US stores, boutiques and workshops between 2006 and 2011, the company introduced a new target for a 15% greenhouse gas emission between 2013 and 2020.

Tiffany & Co. saw an increase in CO2e emissions from 2012 to 2013 of 4.6%, with 46,536 metric tonnes. However, the company said this was largely due to the opening of new retail locations around the globe and is looking to improve energy efficiency across all of its operations. Recent efficiency measures include renovating stores across North America and fitting them with LED lighting.

In an effort to reduce packaging waste, Tiffany Blue bags were made with 50% post-consumer recycled content and Tiffany Blue Boxes with more than 89% recycled content in 2013.

Last year, edie reported that Tiffany & Co. made the shortlist of finalists for sustainability reporting at the 2013 Sustainability Leaders Awards.

Matt Field

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