The silver, gold and platinum sourced directly by Tiffany & Co. for use in its own workshops come from two principal sources: in-ground, large-scale deposits of metals that have been responsibly mined and metals from recycled sources. We obtain our directly sourced metals primarily from the U.S. in order to minimize environmental and social risks in our supply chain.
We are also exploring the possibility of sourcing responsibly managed, artisanally mined metals. The formalization of the artisanal mining sector has the potential to dramatically improve working conditions and wages for its miners. We believe that a sustainable future for precious metal consumption ultimately depends on the responsible development of all three sources of metals: large-scale, recycled and artisanal.
Tiffany & Co. is committed to using the influence of
the Tiffany brand among consumers, and within the
jewelry industry, to support responsible sourcing
practices in the large-scale, recycled and
artisanal mining sectors.
Tiffany & Co. manufactures approximately 60% of our merchandise at Tiffany & Co. owned and operated manufacturing facilities. In 2012, we traced 98%* of raw precious metals procured by our manufacturing facilities directly to a mine or recycler.
In 2012, Tiffany & Co. purchased the raw silver used in our own manufacturing facilities from two U.S. sources. 83%* of this silver was sourced from the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah as a by-product of an open-pit copper mine. We procured the remaining 17%* from recycled sources.
In 2012, Tiffany & Co. purchased the raw gold used in our own manufacturing facilities from two U.S. sources. 43%* of this gold was sourced from the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah as a by-product of an open-pit copper mine. We procured the remaining 57%* from recycled sources, up from 52% in 2011.
The Bingham Canyon Mine is an existing mine that produces gold as a by-product of copper mining using a non-cyanide leaching extraction method. While there are legacy environmental issues from over a century of mining at Bingham Canyon, the mine’s owners deserve recognition for acting responsibly and aggressively to address these issues.
In 2012, Tiffany & Co. purchased the raw platinum used in our own manufacturing facilities from two companies. 72%* of this platinum was sourced from Stillwater Mining in Montana. We procured the remaining 28% from a U.S. refiner which sources platinum from a mixture of mined and recycled sources.
VENDOR-CRAFTED JEWELRY AND COMPONENTS
As noted above, Tiffany & Co. manufactures approximately 60% of its merchandise in its own manufacturing facilities and predominantly purchases the raw metals directly. Tiffany & Co. also purchases from third-party vendors certain components for use in internal manufacturing as well as certain finished goods, and the silver, gold and platinum in these components and finished goods are independently sourced by these third-party vendors. We are working with our vendors to increasingly supply them with precious metals from the same sources that we procure our metals. These vendors participate in the Tiffany & Co. Social Accountability Program
and operate in accordance with Tiffany & Co. standards for quality and environmental and social responsibility.
POSITION ON CONFLICT MINERALS
Tiffany & Co. has taken a global approach to addressing the most pressing social and environmental issues facing the mining sector, with a focus on precious metals and gemstones. We believe that participating in, and supporting, rigorous standards-setting efforts and advocating for more effective oversight will lead to improved mining conditions globally, in the long term.
We have long recognized that in some places mining has been associated with violence, human rights abuse and environmental degradation. However, when managed responsibly, mining can be a source of social and economic development. The situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its adjoining countries represents both the challenge and the promise of mining. While recent estimates indicate that only 1-2% of the world’s gold comes from this region, we are committed to doing our part to contribute to a solution in the region—both through our own voluntary initiatives and by complying with the conflict minerals diligence and disclosure requirements of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). While our company-wide conflict minerals compliance process addresses gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten—the minerals identified by Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank as “conflict minerals”—we believe that, as a jeweler, we have the most significant opportunity to address the impact of gold sourcing.
Tiffany & Co. has longstanding relationships with most of its vendors and manufactures over 60% of its merchandise in its own manufacturing facilities. For the majority of our gold, Tiffany has knowledge of the mine, smelter or refiner from which that gold is sourced. In connection with our requirements under Dodd-Frank, we developed a process to evaluate the risk of whether the gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten in our supply chain was originating from the DRC and its adjoining countries and fueling conflict in that region. Tiffany & Co.’s disclosure under Dodd-Frank, including both the Form SD and the Conflict Minerals Report, can be found on the Investor Relations website.
The Board of Directors of Tiffany & Co. has also adopted a Conflict Minerals Policy for the company. This policy sets forth the Company’s expectations that its applicable vendors complete annual training on the policy, submit an annual conflict minerals survey and source from a smelter or refiner that has obtained a “conflict-free” designation with an independent private sector audit, such as those from the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, the “Good Delivery” list of the London Bullion Market Association and the Responsible Jewellery Council’s Chain-of-Custody Standard. This policy also includes a mechanism for vendors, employees and others to report concerns regarding potential policy violations. The Tiffany & Co. Conflict Minerals Policy does not ban our vendors from sourcing minerals from the DRC or adjoining countries; we believe such a ban would adversely impact the mining communities and businesses operating responsibly in the region.
Further, the Conflict Minerals Policy articulates principles for responsible gold mining to our vendors. Specifically, we encourage them, when selecting sources and mines of origin for gold, to evaluate potential sources by reference to the Golden Rules. The Golden Rules are a set of criteria for more socially and environmentally responsible mining, developed by EARTHWORKS’ No Dirty Gold campaign. Tiffany & Co. was the first jeweler to embrace the principles of the No Dirty Gold campaign in 2005, and the Golden Rules are based on broadly accepted international human rights laws and basic principles of sustainable development.
*Metric included in the Report of Independent Accountants