In this blog, we have already commented that sustainability is much more than following a manual of green processes. For a company to be truly sustainable, it must go beyond recycling, conscious water consumption, planting trees and practices to decrease the use of plastic cups.
The idea of sustainability in procurement doesn’t take into account only the simple issues of daily corporate chores, but mainly the relationships of a company with its employees, suppliers and partners.
The Tiffany & Co. brand, which works with sustainability-sensitive raw materials, has launched a campaign that shows to end customers its efforts to keep transparency in the entire supply chain.
Sustainability in procurement: Tiffany and the “Diamond Source” initiative
Tiffany & Co., an American brand of luxury jewelry, has recently announced a new initiative to the market: they committed to know and publicize the entire route of diamonds marketed in their units by 2020.
This includes everything, from the origin of exploited mines to cutting, polishing and finishing of jewelry displayed at the stores.
According to Alessandro Bogliolo, CEO of the brand, “Diamonds were formed 3 billion years ago and then brought to earth surface as a miracle of nature. They are a symbol of the most important moments in our lives. So there should be nothing obscure about Tiffany diamonds. Our customers need and deserve to know where their most beloved and valuable goods came from”.
With this initiative, all diamond jewelry (starting from 0.18 carat) will come with a laser-engraved serial number that is invisible to the naked eye, in addition to a small plate showing the country of origin.
Sustainability against “blood diamonds”
Diamonds marketed by Tiffany come from two sources: 80% to 90% are provided by selected mines in countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Canada, Namibia and Russia.
The remaining 10% to 20% are purchased in a polished state from trusted suppliers – which, according to the brand’s Senior Vice President of Diamond Jewelry Supply, have been part of their supplier network for years, and are visited constantly.
With this new initiative, the company committed not to buy from supplying countries that have human rights issues, such as Angola, Congo and Zimbabwe.
Supplying countries must follow the Kimberley Process, a certification of origin that prevents buying and selling of “blood diamonds” – that is, those coming from areas of conflict, civil wars, and human rights abuse (such as slavery and precarious work conditions).
This sensitive theme was addressed in the “Blood Diamond” movie, starred by Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounson.
Supplier management for sustainable procurement.
The mission of controlling so many variables, particularly when they occur outside one’s country, isn’t an easy task. For this reason, Tiffany and other companies must rely on good Supplier Management to achieve better sustainability.
Only in this way they will be able to centralize all processes related to business partners.
Technological solutions track and control supplier registration, approval and evaluation, along with third party management and inspection. Technology helps mitigating risks in the supply chain, and minimizes factors that can impact business and society negatively.
Visit our Free Materials area if you want to know more about Supplier Management, and read a variety of articles related to this topic.
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