Eight of the world's top jewelry retailers have pledged to move away from "dirty" gold sales and are calling on mining corporations to ensure that gold is produced in more socially and environmentally responsible ways. The retailers, supported by the No Dirty Gold campaign, are Zale Corp., the Signet Group (the parent firm of Sterling and Kay Jewelers), Tiffany & Co., Helzberg Diamonds, Fortunoff, Cartier, Piaget, and Van Cleef & Arpels, placed a full-page ad [PDF] in today's New York Times pledging to green up their act with the help of Oxfam America and EarthWorks. Timed to coincide with the jewerly-buying rush in conjunction with Valentine's Day, the ad also calls out retailers who are lagging behind these retailers; these "laggards" include Rolex, Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer Jewelers, JCPenney, Sears/KMart, Jostens, QVC and Whitehall
Jewellers Inc.The No Dirty Gold campaign was launched two years ago; since then, more than 30,000 consumers have signed a petition urging mining corporations to clean up their act and produce gold more responsibly. The jewelry industry "leaders" named by the No Dirty Gold campaign have endorsed human rights, environmental, and social justice principles that call for responsible practices in producing gold and precious metals. These include:
(1) Respect for basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law;
(2) Free, prior, and informed consent from affected communities;
(3) Respect for workers' rights and labor standards;
(4) Protecting parks and natural reserves from mining; and,
(5) Protecting oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams from mining wastes.
The average single gold ring, weighing in at 1/3 of an ounce, generates 20 tons of waste, and gold mining can cause a bevy of problems that run the gamut from air, water and soil pollution to human rights violations (more info on dirty gold can be found here). The No Dirty Gold campaign is not a boycott on gold, but is working to end destructive mining practices, educate consumers about gold mining's impacts and build consumer support for industry reform. ::No Dirty Gold via ::CSRWire