RAPAPORT… Wal-Mart chose Rio Tinto to provide gold and silver for fully traceable, responsibly-produced jewelry. The partnership is part of a Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer by far, developed an initiative to achieve 100 percent traceability for all of the gold and silver jewellery sold at its stores.
Wal-Mart’s Love, Earth® jewelry collection will be produced with the metals mined by Rio Tinto based upon industry-acceptable criteria. The project will initially focus on gold and silver jewelry using metal from Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper (KUC) Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. This partnership marks a shift in how Wal-Mart jewelry is produced and sold, and it will give customers the ability to trace their Love, Earth jewellery all the way back to the mine it came from by going online.
“We are impressed with Wal-Mart’s desire to become more sustainable and their efforts to proactively begin a relationship with us to help achieve their goals,” said Andrew Harding, president of Kennecott Utah Copper. “Companies like Rio Tinto and Wal-Mart have an opportunity to change the way products are manufactured and used to reduce impacts on the environment and local communities.”
“As the largest retailer of jewelry in the world, Wal-Mart is in a unique position to influence sustainable practices in the jewelry industry,” said Pam Mortensen, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Wal-Mart. “With Love, Earth jewellery, we collaborated with partners like Rio Tinto who are at the forefront of sustainable business practices in the industry to bring an affordable and beautiful product to our customers.”
Other suppliers in the Wal-Mart responsible jewellery initiative are Newmont Mining Corporation, a gold manufacturer headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and Aurafin, a Florida-based jewelry manufacturer.