Sign the No Dirty Gold Pledge, and Urge Jewelry Retailers to Help Clean Up Dirty Gold

The production of just one gold ring produces 20 tons of mine waste.

Toxic chemicals such as cyanide and mercury that are used in producing gold have polluted drinking water supplies, contaminated farmland, and harmed the health of workers and communities. Gold mining operations can also leave a trail of social destruction, displacing communities from their homelands against their will and destroying traditional livelihoods.

This is the real price of gold.

Jewelers may not operate heavy equipment at mine sites, but more than 80 percent of gold mined each year is used to make jewelry. Jewelry firms are thus uniquely positioned to help make real change in gold mining practices.

Some prominent jewelry firms such as Tiffany & Co. have responded to requests from concerned people like you, and have staked out a leadership position on this important issue. Others jewelry companies are lagging behind and you can help them to catch up.

When you sign this No Dirty Gold Pledge, we will show jewelers that thousands of people want gold produced in ways that do not harm communities, workers, and the environment. There are some practices that are just too dirty to accept under any circumstances -- such as dumping mine waste directly into rivers or the ocean.

Use your consumer power!

Sign the No Dirty Gold pledge and ask that jewelry retailers do the same:

"I support the No Dirty Gold campaign to end destructive gold mining practices. I call on retailers and manufacturers of gold jewelry, electronics, and other goods to work to ensure that the gold in their products was not produced at the expense of local communities, workers, and the environment. I demand that the global mining industry provide retailers and consumers an alternative to dirty gold."

Gold mining is one of the world's dirtiest industries today. And more than 80 percent of gold is used to make jewelry, much of which ends up in retail stores. As a concerned consumer, I urge retailers to help raise the bar on gold mining practices. I call on them to demand meaningful reforms in the way mining is carried out -- reforms that go beyond public relations efforts.

Jewelry firms are in a unique position to influence how the mining industry produces the gold sold in jewelry stores. They have a responsibility to their customers and shareholders to work to ensure that the gold sold in their stores is not produced at the expense of communities, workers, and the environment. And they have a real opportunity to be at the leading edge of the jewelry industry when it comes to the responsible sourcing of gold.

After all, there are some practices that are so dirty that jewelry retailers wouldn’t want them associated with the jewelry in their stores. Retailers should make a commitment to only source gold that meets the following basic human rights and environmental standards:

* Respect for basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law
* Free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities.
* Safe working conditions.
* Respect for workers' rights and labor standards (including the eight core ILO conventions)
* Ensure that operations are not located in areas of armed or militarized conflict.
* Ensure that projects do not force communities off their lands.
* No dumping of mine wastes into the ocean, rivers, lakes, or streams.
* Ensure that projects are not located in protected areas, fragile ecosystems or other areas of high conservation value.
* Ensure that projects do not generate sulfuric acid in perpetuity.
* Cover all costs of closing down and cleaning up mine sites.

Jewelry retailers should use their power to help ensure that gold's reputation is not tainted as a result of irresponsible mining. They should endorse the "Golden Rules" listed above and let their customers know they are working to clean up one of the world's dirtiest industries.
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