responsible-sourcing

Responsible Sourcing

OUR COMMITMENT TO RESPONSIBLE SOURCING

Jewelry is personal. It is an expression of love, of joy, a symbol of our most meaningful moments in life. Jewelry touches the lives of millions of people around the world.

We have taken a leadership role in the development of harmonized industry guidance and standards for many years to ensure that our jewelry is made with integrity, and sourced from a supply chain that is held to a higher standard. As part of our Core Values we are always looking for ways to continuously improve and to do the right thing even when no one is looking. While the jewelry industry is associated with many celebratory moments, it is also connected to a complex supply chain filled with concerns about the origin of many materials – such as gold and diamonds. The industry as a whole has taken steps to improve the transparency and integrity of the jewelry supply chain.

OUR RESPONSIBLE SOURCING POLICY

As the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry, we know we must lead by example. Our dedication to product integrity is at the core of how we do business. When a customer purchases jewelry from a Signet brand store, they assume that our jewelry has been sourced responsibly. When a customer asks a question about our sourcing practices, our Team Members have the information available to answer them. We are not only dedicated to our own supply chain, but are leading the efforts to foster increasingly transparent and responsible jewelry supply chains around the world.

Signet Jewelers and our North American and UK operations (Signet) are fully committed to the responsible sourcing of our products and the respect of human rights, and we expect the same from our suppliers around the world. We continually strive to assure our customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders that our supply chain avoids action that may directly or indirectly finance armed conflict and serious human rights violations around the world including the Democratic Republic of Congo and its adjoining countries.

Ensuring the integrity of the supply chain is an issue that affects the entire jewelry industry. Signet therefore believes it is often best to address the challenges through dedicated industry organizations. Signet is a Founding and Certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), an organization that is committed to promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices throughout the jewelry supply chain. As a Founding Member and active participant, we fully support the RJC’s membership Code of Practices and Chain of Custody standards. We are also members of Jewelers of America (JA) and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC). Please see our CSR Report for a detailed list.

Signet is also active in cross-sector coalitions and working groups that reach beyond the jewelry industry to ensure that companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to armed conflict. Signet supports the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Responsible Metals Standards, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Section 1502, relating to our supplies of gold.

Throughout our supply chain, whether we are sourcing directly from mining companies, from the open market or buying from jewelry manufacturers, we have a rigorous due diligence process. Our verification process includes internal and third-party audits, as well as third-party verification such as RJC certification.

Our Supplier Code of Conduct is included in our vendor-buyer agreement and sets out the Company’s expectations of suppliers to align with our responsible sourcing practices.

THE SIGNET RESPONSIBLE SOURCING PROTOCOL (SRSP)

We believe that a responsible, conflict-free supply chain is fundamental to the reputation of the jewelry industry as a whole and are committed to our efforts to advance responsible sourcing throughout the supply chain.

Signet’s requirements for a responsible and conflict-free supply chain are defined in the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol (SRSP). To download a copy of the 2020 SRSP, please click here.

We have taken an industry-leading role by establishing our Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocols for Gold, and for Tungsten, Tantalum and Tin (3Ts) which became company policy for all suppliers in 2013. We expanded the SRSPs in 2016 when we introduced our SRSP for Natural Diamonds and again in 2017 when we introduced the SRSP for Silver and Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). By closely collaborating with key partners throughout our supply chain, we designed flexible and adaptable systems that raise the standard for responsibly sourcing raw materials in the jewelry supply chain. In 2019, the SRSP requirements for each mineral were incorporated into one Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol which covers Signet’s general requirements, and the SRSP was expanded to include colored gemstones as well as a specific appendix on human rights. Requirements for lab-grown/created diamonds (LGDs) are included in the 2020 SRSP.

The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol and its appendices are aligned with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains and several industry standards. All jewelry suppliers to Signet are required to report annually that the products supplied to Signet are compliant with the SRSP. The Protocol is verifiable by third-party audit. To download a full copy of the Signet SRSP Audit Guidance click here.

The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol: Appendices for Gold and 3Ts

Based on international standards and guidance, Signet conducted extensive research and consulted with many of our suppliers to develop the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol (“SRSP”). The purpose of the SRSP is to outline practical procedures that will reasonably ensure any gold, tin, tantalum, or tungsten, defined as “conflict minerals” by the OECD, the SEC and the EU, in products supplied to Signet are verified as responsibly sourced and "conflict-free". The SRSP appendices for Gold and 3Ts were established as company policy effective January 1, 2013. 

The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol: Appendix for Natural Diamonds

In 2016 Signet introduced requirements in the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Natural Diamonds alongside existing SRSPs for Gold and 3Ts. The objective of the appendix for Natural Diamonds is to ensure that all Signet natural diamonds are responsibly sourced. These requirements are based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains and build on the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties. From 2017, all Signet natural diamond and natural diamond jewelry suppliers were required to have the appropriate policies, systems and processes in place to evidence compliance with the SRSP.  

The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol: Appendix for Silver and Platinum Group Metals (PGMs)

In 2017 Signet introduced Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol requirements for Silver and Platinum Group Metals (“PGMs”, namely platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and iridium) alongside existing SRSP requirements for Gold, 3Ts and Natural Diamonds. The objective of the SRSP appendix for Silver and PGMs is to ensure that all Signet precious metals are responsibly sourced. The SRSP appendix for Silver and PGMs is consistent with the existing SRSP for Gold, and requires sourcing though accredited refineries and other suppliers defined in the SRSP. All suppliers of silver and PGMs were required  to report compliance with the SRSP requirements in 2018.

The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol Appendix for Colored Gemstones

As part of our commitment to ensure the integrity of all the primary metals and minerals in our supply chain, Signet launched the SRSP appendix for Colored Gemstones in April 2019. In order to ensure its responsible sourcing policies are both robust and workable, Signet approached the development of the new colored gemstone section of the SRSP through collaborative engagement with key suppliers.

The colored gemstone SRSP appendix applies to all natural colored ruby, sapphire and emerald gemstones supplied to Signet. The SRSP also includes disclosure requirements for laboratory grown colored gemstones. The scope of the SRSP may be expanded in the future to include other natural gemstones.

The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol Appendix for  Laboratory-Grown/Created Diamonds (LGDs)

In 2020, Signet introduced the SRSP appendix for Laboratory-Grown/Created Diamonds (LGDs).

The LGD SRSP appendix requires all Signet suppliers of LGDs to ensure that all LGDs are manufactured in accordance with international standards for factory production, along with assurances for the product’s authenticity and detailed requirements for product disclosure and testing. 

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBLE SOURCING INITIATIVES

MOBILE SCHOOLS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)

Schools are often far away from artisanal mining communities, so children miss out on formal education and may work in the mining fields. Through its “Sending Schools to Kids” initiative, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an international non-profit organization focusing on the political, social and economic challenges facing the artisanal diamond mining sector, is sending schools to them, taking children from the mine to the classroom. DDI provides mobile facilities, portable materials and teachers to remote mining communities where education is not available. In 2016, Signet partnered with DDI to fund two mobile schools for mining communities in the Kasai Occidental province of the DRC. These schools provide customized education to 50 children who might otherwise be working in the mining fields. Students are provided with uniforms, school materials and daily meals.

RESPONSIBLE ARTISANAL GOLD SOLUTIONS FORUM (RAGSF)

In 2015, Signet contributed funding to the Responsible Artisanal Gold Solutions Forum (RAGSF), a multistakeholder coalition including supply chain participants in the jewelry and electronics industries (refiners, manufacturers, distributors and retailers), governments, civil society, the OECD and industry organizations such as LBMA and RJC. RAGSF seeks to learn about, and address the critical barriers to the production and trade of artisanal gold from the Great Lakes Region in the DRC and establish transferable best practice for the artisanal industry internationally. RAGSF is under discussion with pilot sourcing projects to test and learn about responsible artisanal gold supply chains in the DRC, including adapting and implementing due diligence guidance. Signet is committed to helping ensure that gold from these projects can be part of Signet’s supply chain in the future.


DIAMONDS DO GOOD / DIAMOND EMPOWERMENT FUND
The Diamonds Do Good Initiative was created by the Diamond Empowerment Fund, of which Signet has been a long-time member and supporter. Signet supports the Diamond Empowerment Fund/Diamonds Do Good mission because it focuses on how diamonds enrich the lives of people in the communities all along the supply chain. In 2016, Signet implemented a program to raise awareness of the initiative by displaying the Diamonds Do Good seal in US stores as well as promoting the initiative via our Kay,Jared and Zales websites.

SUPPLIER REQUIREMENTS

Supplier Code of Conduct

Signet Jewelers has the objective to operate as a profitable and responsible specialty jewelry retailer, delivering increasing value to our shareholders, while seeking to uphold our Social, Ethical and Environmental Principles and considering the interests of our other stakeholders: customers, employees, those with whom we do business, and society as a whole.

In seeking to achieve our objective we recognize that there are indirect impacts generated by our activities, in particular through our supply chain. We will seek to use our influence with those with whom we do business directly, in particular our agents and suppliers, to promote the achievement of our Social, Ethical and Environmental Principles. As a customer we believe we have an opportunity to seek to influence the social, ethical and environmental performance of our suppliers in a positive manner. In order to do so it is necessary that our suppliers, and in turn their suppliers, should understand Signet’s standards as set out in this Supplier Code of Conduct (“Code”). Therefore, we encourage suppliers to ensure that this Code is communicated throughout our supply chain

To read more about our Supplier Code of Conduct please click here: http://www.signetjewelers.com/corporate-responsibility/supplier-code-of-conduct/default.aspx

Supplier Compliance with the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocols

Beginning in 2013, Signet produced global guidance for all suppliers of gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum (“3TG”). Compliance with the SRSPs for gold and 3Ts are a required legal imperative related to Signet’s SEC reporting. (See The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocols section above)

Similarly, Signet has developed an SRSP for diamonds (*D-SRSP), which is being implemented in 2016 in accordance with OECD guidance, which applies to all minerals, and also for Silver and Platinum Group Metals (See The Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocols section above)

The cornerstone of compliance with the SRSPs is a requirement that suppliers report to Signet annually that they are sourcing materials supplied to Signet responsibly and in conformance with the requirements of all of the relevant SRSPs in their supply chains.

Supplier RJC Membership Requirement

Signet is a founding and certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (“RJC”), which is the global standard for responsible practices in the jewelry industry. Companies certified under the RJC’s Code of Practices are demonstrating their commitment to the reputation of the jewelry industry, which is fundamental to maintaining consumer confidence.

As a result, and aligned with Signet’s dedication to the continuous improvement in the integrity of global jewelry supply chain, beginning January 31, 2017, Signet has made RJC membership and certification a requirement for all suppliers.

As a clear benefit to our suppliers, RJC certification with the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocols (“SRSPs”) as “Provenance Claims” gives Signet assurances about the responsible practices of each supplier company as well as confidence regarding responsible sourcing through each supplier’s supply chain, which is an important component of Signet’s supply chain due diligence and risk assessment. Suppliers which achieve this level of certification are not required to be audited separately by Signet.

Our Supplier Audit Policy

Any Signet supplier who is not yet a Certified RJC member with the SRSP as a Provenance Claim (see above) may be subject to an audit of their mandatory SRSP Compliance Report by an independent third party audit firm.

Audits are conducted on a 3-year rotational basis and Signet Suppliers are responsible for the expense of an audit.

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