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20 August 2013 | Will Green
Jeweller Tiffany & Co said it boosted the economies of diamond-producing countries by $90 million (£57 million) in 2012 – up 43 per cent on the year before.
The company says benefits to Botswana, Namibia and South Africa – where it sources diamonds – amounted to $63 million (£40 million) in 2011 and the rise was due to increased purchases of rough diamonds. Benefits included payments to local suppliers, payroll, donations and taxes.
The firm’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report also shows the percentage of local people employed in its facilities in the three countries increased to 90 per cent, compared to 78 per cent in 2009.
The report said in 2012 the company could trace 98 per cent of the metals it used to a mine or recycler and 100 per cent of diamonds to a known mine or supplier with multiple known mines, which complied with its environmental standards.
In 2012, more than 89 per cent of materials used to make the firm’s distinctive blue boxes were recycled, while crystal and china were packed in bubble wrap rather than tissue paper, using half the amount of raw materials.
The company, whose jewellery is worn by movie stars such as Anne Hathaway, also launched a new Tiffany blue bag in the US made with 50 per cent post-consumer recycled material, which it plans to roll out abroad.
Chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski said: “The report documents our long-held commitment to sustainability and influencing others in the jewellery industry to make environmental conservation a critical part of their operations.
“We are proud of our accomplishments and proud too of keeping our promise to our customers to redouble our efforts in protecting the natural world.”