The renowned jewelry brand has taken diamond traceability to a new level by disclosing the region or countries of origin of each newly sourced, individually registered diamond (0.18 carats and larger) it sets while also disclosing the countries where these diamonds are crafted, including cutting and polishing, grading and setting.
Here, Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chief sustainability officer, shares insights into how Tiffany & Co. brings to market diamonds that are socially and environmentally sourced via a vertically integrated supply chain while being done in a transparent way that transcends industry standards.
Tiffany has been at this longer than most of its competitors. What drives Tiffany’s commitment to sustainability?
Transparency and responsible sourcing have long been a fundamental part of Tiffany’s commitment to sustainability. For this reason, we have been investing in the sustainability and vertical integration of our supply chain for over 20 years, and are now taking transparency to a new level by sharing the full craftsmanship journey of our diamonds. With greater transparency we can better maintain environmentally- and socially-conscious operations that respect human rights and the communities and regions we work in, as well as the mines from which we source.
Tiffany recently made news for its continued leadership in diamond traceability. Tell us about that?
Last year, we became the first global luxury jeweler to share the region or countries of origin of our newly sourced, individually registered diamonds. This year, we’re becoming the first to share those diamonds’ full craftsmanship journey, including the cutting, polishing and setting location.
By taking transparency to a new level, we reinforce our commitment to ensuring that every step in the journey of our diamonds can contribute to the well-being of people and the protection of the planet.
Do you expect your competitors to follow?
We certainly hope so, but it hasn’t been easy. Offering this unrivaled degree of supply chain transparency is possible because we procure many diamonds as rough stones directly from responsible sources and craft many in our own workshops around the world.
This isn’t easily replicated by other jewelers, many of which only buy diamonds polished on the secondary market. Vertical integration not only affords traceability but helps us uphold superlative standards of craftsmanship, contribute to local communities and ensure safe and healthy working environments for our artisans.
So, Tiffany is creating and also cornering the market?
Our hope is that consumers will come to expect to know not only a diamond’s provenance, but where it was crafted from rough stone to polished gem, and finally set in jewelry. As more and more ask, we hope the industry will evolve and adapt to satisfy rising demands for transparency.
Are these moves motivated by the rise of conscious consumerism?
While these moves were not necessitated by consumer demand, we recognize the rising expectation of transparency among socially conscious clientele – those who care deeply about where their most prized possessions came from, and how they came to be.
We are also raising awareness among those who might not otherwise have considered the importance of diamond traceability. When choosing a diamond, that includes not only knowing its region or countries of origin but the conditions and care with which it was crafted.
How does this fit into broader sustainability initiatives at Tiffany?
This unprecedented step in diamond traceability is another step forward in Tiffany & Co.’s longstanding commitment to transparency and sustainability. In addition, we are thrilled to launch an ambitious set of 2025 Sustainability Goals: a bold roadmap outlining the Company’s sustainability priorities for the coming years.
These ambitious commitments across our pillars of Product, People and Planet are based on the results of a robust assessment of Tiffany’s social and environmental impact and opportunities, developed in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, which has awarded over USD $85 million in grants to nonprofit organizations worldwide, with a focus today on responsible mining and coral and marine conservation.