Tiffany & Co. Rubies from Myanmar

Rubies from Myanmar

While some of the world’s best rubies are mined in Myanmar, Tiffany does not purchase any gemstones from the country, due to concerns about ongoing human rights violations and a lack of transparency. This began in 2003 when the U.S. forbade the importation of products from the country. In 2008, the passage of the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act strengthened the original act, prohibiting the import of jadeite and rubies from Myanmar, even if the gemstones were processed in, and exported from, another country.

 

In fall of 2016, efforts toward democratic reform in Myanmar resulted in the U.S. lifting those sanctions. Prior to determining whether we would purchase gemstones, we felt it was important to engage directly with Myanmar’s mining sector to encourage the adoption of international best practices. We spent more than a year actively exploring whether we thought it was feasible to responsibly source Burmese rubies with a range of stakeholders—including local and international NGOs, national and local governments, and the local mining and gemstone sectors. However, in the midst of our work, violence erupted in Myanmar. Given the severity of the crisis, we decided to suspend our work in the country. We look forward to the time that we may be able to engage in Myanmar once again. Despite the fact that the U.S. sanctions were lifted in 2016, we have not purchased gemstones from Myanmar since the original Act was adopted in 2003.

 

Pictured at left: Brooches with rubies from Mozambique.

Coral and Ivory

We value biodiversity and consider the impacts of our materials sourcing on wild species and ecosystems. We are determined to protect species such as coral and elephants, which are the cornerstones of healthy ecosystems but have historically been threatened in part due to the jewelry industry’s use of coral and ivory. 

 

In recent decades, climate change has exacerbated the threats to coral; and some scientists say that 90% of coral reefs worldwide are at risk of disappearing by 2050. In 2004, we made the principled decision to stop using coral in our products. Since that time we have advocated for further action, including testifying before Congress in 2008 on the importance of protecting coral. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation complements our Company’s efforts and, since 2000, has provided more than $20 million in grants to support the creation of marine protected areas and related research and awareness-raising efforts.

 

We also take action to protect threatened wildlife. We eliminated the use of ivory in our jewelry decades ago because poaching and habitat loss have put elephants at grave risk of extinction. We also use our voice to publicly advocate for the protection of elephants, rhinos and lions. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s efforts in this area began in 2008 in supporting the protection of wildlife corridors in Botswana and neighboring parts of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Since 2016, Tiffany has partnered with the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance to encourage the jewelry industry to eliminate illicit products from their supply chains. In 2017, we launched our Tiffany Save the Wild jewelry collection, from which 100% of profits are donated to the Wildlife Conservation Network for the protection of elephants, lions and rhinos and, to date, we have raised more than $5 million through the collection.

Tiffany & Co. Coral and Ivory
TIffany & Co. Leather

Leather

Though leather products are a relatively small part of our business, we are committed to tracing the source of the leathers we use. In 2018, we were able to trace the source of our leathers to the tannery level for the following product categories: Home & Accessories and jewelry. We remain thoughtful about what types of leather we use and don’t use, and where our materials originate. 

Pearls

We source natural and cultured freshwater and saltwater pearls produced by a variety of mollusk species around the world. Healthy mollusks and clean water help improve the quality of pearls. The growing demand for pearls has raised awareness about the potential environmental risks of pearl farming, including improper disposal of nutrients, chemicals and waste. Some pearl farmers have taken measures to protect the environment by using clean water practices. We believe environmental and social stewardship is an important aspect of responsible pearl farming and, where possible, we choose to source directly from suppliers and pearl farmers that share our beliefs.

Tiffany & Co. Pearls
Tiffany & Co. Paper and Packaging

Paper and Packaging

Our commitment to responsible sourcing extends to our catalogues and our iconic Tiffany Blue Boxes and bags that carry our customers’ treasures. Beginning in 2004, Tiffany started requesting third-party certifications for our blue bags, with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) certification—the premier standard in responsible forest management. In 2014, we began requiring all new global print suppliers to have FSC™ certification.

 

Today, as part of our 2020 goal to remove commodity-driven deforestation from key supply chains, we have developed guidelines and trained staff on how to sustainably source wood and paper, with an emphasis on FSC™-certified and recycled content.