Responsible Gemstone Mining
“Our approach is to set new benchmarks for environmental, social and safety practices in the coloured gemstone sector. Recognising our leadership role, we are working to support increased transparency across the wider downstream supply chain, thereby providing the discerning customers with increased confidence in the responsible journey their gemstones have taken all the way from our mines.”- Ian Harebottle, Gemfields CEO
‘With both mining and marketing, integrity must be central to who we are as a successful business.’Our approach centres on facing up to the very real challenges of mining in countries where bribery and corruption, land rights, environmental impacts and sustainable development are either endemic or require extremely sensitive handling. Globally accepted principles and standards in the coloured gemstone sector are yet to be developed and we want to lead and raise the professional standards of the sector. Sustainability is therefore a key part of this.
Gemfields mines and markets and integrity is key to who we are as a successful business. We do not shy away from what we do. Having chosen to operate in this sector it is therefore imperative that our sustainability strategy is fit for purpose to support our operations as well as our brand. Therefore we need to work towards a long-term, sustainable and integrity-driven licence to operate, not just for our investors, reputation and employees but for the very countries in which we have a concession to mine.
As we develop our strategy our aim is to be recognised as a business that operates to international and best practice standards and transparently communicates on a variety of contextual yet prioritised issues. Where possible we will align our strategy to other recognised standards and frameworks by relevant organisations such as GRI, ICMM, RJC, SASB and IFC*.
Our strategy is based on the following five core dimensions:
- Environmental responsibility
- Societal responsibility
- Human rights responsibility
- Labour responsibility
- Product responsibility
Within each dimension are the issues that we respond to at each operation. We do this openly and collaboratively with the communities who are our neighbours, with policy-makers and regulators, with special interest groups and with our supply chain partners.
We have drawn guidance on our approach from a wide range of external standards as well as taking inspiration from peers in the mining and jewellery sectors. For each of the key strategic dimensions we have individual policies which set out our commitments in more detail and these can be found above.
We want to work in partnership with organisations that share our values and who are also critical friends. As we grow, and our strategy evolves and matures we will look to partner with more organisations. We want to share, learn and create an impact and believe the best way to do this is in partnership. Presently our partnerships are being evaluated. We welcome feedback from stakeholders interested in helping us pioneer sustainability in the coloured gemstone sector.
*Global Reporting Initiative, International Council for Metals & Mining, Responsible Jewellery Council, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, International Finance Corporation.