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Abandoned Mine Reclamation

The American West is home to some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes—as well as an estimated 150,000 abandoned hard rock mines. Although more than 150 years have passed since the U.S. gold rush, chemicals that leaked into the earth and water systems from these mines still threaten sensitive watersheds, ecosystems and native species.

 

As a jeweler that sources metals primarily in the United States, we are concerned about the toxic legacy of mining in the American West, and we are working to address these impacts. Since 2003, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s Responsible Mining program has awarded more than $3 million to support nonprofit organizations that are remediating land and watersheds affected by historic mining. These include Trout Unlimited, which has completed over 30 abandoned mine restoration projects in six states, and the Clark Fork Coalition, which returns approximately 6.4 billion gallons of water to depleted waterways in Montana each year. We also value the work of “Good Samaritans,” who voluntarily clean up mine-related pollution, and we are advocating for the federal government to reform the outdated U.S. General Mining Law of 1872 to protect the work of these Good Samaritans and further promote the cleanup of abandoned mines.    

Tiffany & Co. Abandoned Mine Reclamation
Tiffany & Co. Protecting Bristol Bay

Protecting Bristol Bay

Certain places in our world have the power to inspire awe for their natural beauty alone. These places deserve special protection. Over a decade ago, we first spoke out against the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s stunning Bristol Bay. If developed, the Pebble Mine would become one of the largest open-pit gold and copper mines, sitting at the headwaters of one of the world’s greatest remaining wild salmon watersheds. We believe the Bristol Bay ecosystem, and the thousands of jobs it provides, is too precious and valuable to put at risk. In 2008, we were one of the first jewelers to sign the Bristol Bay Protection Pledge and declare that, should the proposed Pebble Mine be developed, we will not source gold from it. We are proud to work with native communities, concerned scientists, sport and commercial fishermen, the conservation community and the many Alaskans committed to protecting this pristine and productive ecosystem. Despite many years of uncertainty around Bristol Bay, we remain steadfast in our support of protecting this landscape and its salmon habitats. 

Restoring Habitats in Alaska

For many years, Tiffany & Co. has supported organizations that remediate abandoned historical mining sites to clean up polluted landscapes and waterways, making these habitats safe for fish and wildlife.

 

In 2018, Tiffany & Co. and Apple provided seed funding for the Salmon Gold pilot to advance these efforts through an innovative model that produces gold using responsible mining techniques and simultaneously restores critical habitats for salmon and other species within historical placer mine sites in Alaska. Through this process, without the use of chemicals, miners cleanly re-mine tailings for the remaining gold in streams and rivers that are affected by past mining. Miners then restore these sites and rehabilitate their habitats. Salmon Gold is a social enterprise founded by RESOLVE, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable solutions to social and environmental challenges. Salmon Gold and its partners—gold miners and end users such as Tiffany, as well as communities, conservationists and government agencies—seek to combine responsible mining techniques with restoration activities to achieve a positive conservation impact. In 2019, we continue to work with Salmon Gold as the program expands.

 

The first responsibly mined Salmon Gold is now in the Tiffany and Apple supply chains, further supporting these activities. Tiffany’s commitment to protecting the world’s special places drives our investments in responsible mining, and our purchase of Salmon Gold proves how producing gold can support restoration and conservation.

 

Tiffany & Co. Restoring Habitats in Alaska
Tiffany & Co. Save the Wild

Tiffany Save the Wild

The natural world inspires our designs and provides the precious metals and gemstones that give life and form to our jewelry. Our commitment to protecting the Earth and its wild species is reflected in our Tiffany Save the Wild jewelry collection, from which we donate 100% of profits to the Wildlife Conservation Network to support three endangered species: the elephant, the rhino and the lion.

 

Since 2017, we have raised over $5 million for the Wildlife Conservation Network, including the Elephant Crisis Fund. As a company with important ties to Africa, including through our sourcing of diamonds and precious gemstones and the operation of our own diamond-cutting and polishing workshops, Tiffany & Co. is dedicated to supporting the well-being of Africa’s people and protecting its wildlife through these efforts.

Oceans and Marine Conservation

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s mission is to preserve the world’s seascapes and landscapes. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $80 million in grants, of which nearly $24 million has been awarded to grantees that support coral and marine conservation. For example, the Foundation supports organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International and Oceana. The Foundation is also a partner in Oceans 5, a funder collaborative dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans.

 

Though oceans cover more than 70% of the globe, only about 4% is protected. The UN set a global goal to protect 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020; but we believe 30% needs to be protected by 2030, which means protections need to be scaled up at an even faster rate than the current global target.

 

Through 2018, Foundation grantees have supported the designation of many of the world’s largest marine protected areas (MPAs) covering approximately eight million square kilometers of ocean, an area roughly equivalent to the size of the United States. 

Tiffany & Co. Oceans and Marine Conservation
Tiffany & Co. U.S. National Monuments

U.S. National Monuments

As natural resources become scarcer, now is a pivotal time for the protection of public lands from mining. Some of these places received a protected designation more than a century ago, and these lands are simply not suited for resource extraction due to their high ecological, cultural and recreational value, and significance to indigenous peoples. We believe it’s important to advocate for the protection of treasured landscapes and public lands.

 

We focus our advocacy on land conservation in the American West. For many years, we have dedicated our advocacy toward legislative reform that would increase the protection of the environment and ensure that taxpayers are fairly compensated when minerals are taken from public lands. We believe the mining industry should embrace a new, thoughtful approach to public lands.

 

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation complements our Company’s efforts through grants to organizations such as the Conservation Lands Foundation, which works to protect, restore and expand America’s public lands, rivers and trails. Our support reflects our belief that public lands are an essential part of our national heritage and worth protecting.