No Dirty Gold Campaign Statement on Wal-Mart's Love, Earth Initiative
July 21st, 2008
- As a signatory to No Dirty Gold's Golden Rules criteria for more responsible metals sourcing, Wal-Mart has committed to move its precious metals sourcing to mines that meet these criteria.
- We are hopeful that this new initiative is a first step in advancing toward Wal-Mart's commitment to the "Golden Rules." We recognize this will not happen overnight, and that Wal-Mart will need to take many steps on the way to advancing these objectives.
- We commend Wal-Mart for its efforts to improve the traceability of metals in its jewelry. This is an important step in the process of making jewelry supply chains more socially and environmentally responsible.
- We do not yet see any sources of gold from large-scale operations that are independently labeled by a third-party as fully "responsible."
- We encourage Wal-Mart and its partners to carefully qualify statements regarding the nature of its metal and mineral sources so as not to overstate or inflate the attributes of these mining operations. To do so could jeopardize the value created by this first step.
- We are hopeful that Wal-Mart's initiative can encourage improvements at the mining operations and companies from which it will source gold and other minerals, and seek to quantify any examples of good practices and improvements.
- We urge Wal-Mart to work with its suppliers, and interested stakeholders to respond to and address ongoing (e.g., mercury emissions and water quality, depletion and remediation) and future environmental and social issues and challenges at any operations that Wal-Mart selects to participate in this initiative.
- We will continue to work with stakeholders from all sectors, including Wal-Mart, to create independent, third-party verification of compliance with environmental and social best practices at mining operations. We value the commitment to such independent, third-party verification that Wal-Mart has made as a participant in the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance.