EARTHWORKS

Sears/Kmart join other jewelers in pledging to avoid *dirty* gold

November 18, 2009

60 jewelers now committed to sourcing precious metals responsibly

Washington, D.C, 11/18 -- Three major jewelry retailers today announced their decision to shun irresponsible gold mining and seek cleaner sources of gold and precious metals.  Sears Holdings (parent company of Sears and Kmart), Ultra Stores, and Blue Nile all signed the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules for responsible sourcing of precious metals, bringing the total number of jewelry retail signatories up to 60. These jewelry retailers include 7 of the top 10 jewelry retail firms in the United States, and represent over $14 billion in annual US jewelry sales, or nearly a quarter of total sales.

"The No Dirty Gold campaign is a great initiative that pushes for sustainability and ethnical sourcing on gold. We are proud to be a part of it and to offer our customers gold that was obtained in a responsible manner", said Michelle Pearlman, Senior Vice President and President of Jewelry at Sears Holdings. "Sears strives to be a green company and we will continue to work to build lifetime relationships with our customers starting from the mines up."

Jewelers are realizing that their customers are concerned about dirty gold and the devastating effect of gold mining on communities and the environment. The production of one gold ring generates, on average, 20 tons of mine waste. Gold mining has been linked to human rights violations, forest destruction, toxic pollution, and loss of lands and livelihoods.

"The No Dirty Gold campaign applauds this important step taken by Sears, Kmart, Blue Nile and Ultra Stores," said Payal Sampat of Earthworks, which spearheads the No Dirty Gold campaign. "We look forward to working with these companies to find solutions to irresponsible gold mining practices."

Sears, Ultra, and Blue Nile have signed on to the Golden Rules at a time when discussions are advancing on third party certification of more responsible mining practices through the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).  The Golden Rules signatories have committed to seeking third party certification of responsible sourcing when it becomes available. 

-- ENDS --


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2008 Retailer Sales

Retailer

Sales in US$

Wal-mart*

2,900,000,000

Sterling Jewelers*

2,536,000,000

Zale Corp.*

2,138,000,000

QVC*

1,547,000,000

Tiffany & Co.*

1,390,000,000

Sears Holdings Corp.*

940,000,000

J.C. Penney*

925,000,000

Finlay Fine Jewelry

863,000,000

Macy's East

560,000,000

Neiman Marcus

550,000,000

NOTE: * indicates Golden Rules signatory

Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules, gold

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