Costco should say no to dirty gold
By Nick Magel
May 18, 2011
Costco, one of the largest US retailers, is the kind of company that can transform the industry with its purchasing decisions. With that power comes a responsibility to provide its customers with products that come from ethical sources. This summer, tens of thousands of nervous grooms-to-be will be heading to Costco--, one of the top 10 jewelry retailers in the United States--to buy their gold wedding rings. What should they know about Costco s gold sourcing?
As wedding season hits full gear this summer, Costco will be selling happy couples a golden symbol of their love. Unfortunately that symbol, a gold wedding band, too often also often carries with it human rights abuses, environmental destruction, and toxic pollution. This does not have to be the case and over 70 leading jewelry retailers have publicly committed to providing their customers with alternatives to dirty gold by signing onto the No Dirty Gold campaign s Golden Rules principles for more responsible metals sourcing and mining. So why isn t Costco taking this important step?
Costco customers deserve to be guaranteed that the gold they buy is not coming from the hands of a child working in a Congolese mine, or from a mine leaking cyanide into a community s drinking water. Can a bride and grooms shopping for rings at Costco be sure that their gold bands were not made with gold from mines destroying rainforest, or from an armed-conflict zone? The simple answer right now is no. Not yet.
But Costco can work to change this.
We re asking Costco to join Target, Sears/KMart, and over 70 other gold purchasers, in committing to the Golden Rules -- social, environmental, and human rights criteria for more responsible gold production. Customers of Costco deserve it -- and communities impacted by irresponsible mining deserve it too. Will you join us in asking Costco to sign the Golden Rules?