Thursday, July 31, 2014
Profiling our Leads
Take a gold watch, coloured stones jewels and a python tote bag. The first common denominator that comes to mind may not be the S word. Sustainability is a challenge for brands in such trades, and one that is scaling up. A source of support and goldmine of knowledge, we speak with Dr. Helen Crowley on her role as Conservation and ecosystem services specialist.
Interwoven across the Group is a dedicated network of "leads", like Helen, who follow progress down to an operational level. On the ground at each brand a “sustainability lead” is tracing our impacts back to the mines, cotton fields and beyond. These dedicated teams at the brands now total to more than fifty, monitoring our impacts over wider pastures than ever before.
“I LOVE WORKING WITH ALL THE BRANDS AND ON THE OTHER END OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN ALSO WITH THE PRODUCERS, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WITH THEM, HOW CAN WE DO THIS BETTER?”
A leading question currently under Helen’s watch is gold sourcing. The largest ever purchase across all sectors of Fairmined gold was made by Gucci in April. A suitor for the Group’s gold target was found in small-scale artisanal mines of South-Western Peru. Next challenge is to scale up these sustainable and responsible operations, and open up the Group to more certified purchases.
“WHEN YOU ASK PEOPLE WHERE DID YOUR GOLD COME FROM, MOST WILL EITHER SAY I BOUGHT IT FROM THE JEWELERS AND IF YOU ASK THE JEWELER HE SAYS IT CAME FROM THE BANK. IN SUSTAINABILITY WE HAVE TO THINK FURTHER”