Tiffany released its latest CR report to much aplomb and chatter (3.5m twitter impressions during the first week) with many dazzled by their claim of 100% diamond traceability to the mine or source. Is this news? Didn’t they say that last year? It’s difficult to tell as there is no year on year progress or targets. The traceability is through the industry’s self-regulating Kimberley Process, which Tiffany also admits “needs to be expanded to ensure that human rights abuses are not associated with diamond mining”.
The real gem in this report is the support that Tiffany offers to the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) and their work to establish an independent verifiable assurance system that goes beyond the definition of ‘conflict minerals’ and encompasses social and environmental performance at individual mine sites.
The industry is decades behind other industries such as forestry and agriculture in rising to this challenge, no doubt due to the complexities in the supply chain. However, it’s encouraging to see these nascent steps of the IRMA and the weight of the Tiffany brand behind it. Because, without an independently accredited assurance standard, 100% claims of traceability will still lack lustre.