No Dirty Gold campaign draws another major convert
The campaign against mining near Alaska’s Bristol Bay fishery has secured the support of its first independently owned wholesale club, BJ’s.
Mineweb | Dorothy Kosich
July 3, 2014
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BJ’s Wholesale Club, with 202 locations in 15 eastern U.S. states has endorsed Washington D.C.-based environmental NGO Earthworks No Dirty Gold’s Golden Rules.
The No Dirty Gold campaign asks jewelry retailers to pledge to source only from mines who meet the Golden Rules criteria.
The Golden Rules hold that mining companies must respect basic human rights; obtain the free, prior and informed consent of affected communities; respect workers’ rights and labor standards; ensure that mining operations are not located in areas of armed or militarized conflict; ensure that mining projects do not force communities off their lands; and ensure that mining projects are not located in protected areas or other areas of high conservation or ecological value.
The rules also call for mining companies to refrain from disposing of mine wastes into the ocean, rivers, lakes, or streams; cover all the costs of mine site closing and clean up; fully disclose information about social and environmental effects of projects; and allow independent verification of all of the above.
Eight of the top 10 U.S. jewelry retailers have signed the Golden Rules, including Tiffany & Co., Target Corp. and Helzberg Diamonds, representing 13% of the U.S. jewelry market.
BJ’s has also pledged to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay by opposing the Pebble project and refusing to buy metals which come from Pebble.
“BJ’s Wholesale Club is proud to support the No Dirty Gold campaign and pledge protection to Bristol Bay by sourcing metals through socially and environmentally responsible methods for our jewelry and electronics offerings,” said Scott Williams, assistant vice president of quality assurance and environmental stewardship for BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Williams noted that “BJ’s recognizes the role that our partnership has with our environment, our buyers, our suppliers and our members. We will continue to find newer ways to provide high-quality products at an excellent value to our members that reduces our impact on the environment.”