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Our Approach

What Responsibility and
Sustainability Means to Us

We conduct ourselves in a manner that considers and respects our people, our neighbours, our host countries, our environment and our industry. That means being transparent, honest and open, operating with legitimacy and acting with integrity. These are the values we hold ourselves to and push ourselves to further.

Sustainability for Gemfields means a focus on efficiency, minimising the environmental impact of our operations, building lasting livelihoods for the communities that surround our mines, and provoking lasting positive change across the coloured gemstone industry.

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In pursuit of these aims, we encourage our people to seek continuous improvement, have a culture that allows individuals to challenge the status quo and are not afraid to do things differently.

As a world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones, responsible sourcing and sustainability infiltrate every aspect of our business, across all departments and decisions – from those taken every day to those that drive strategic and lasting change.

Our auction sales process provides unparalleled levels of transparency throughout the sales transaction, our reporting process demonstrates the legitimacy with which we fulfil our taxation and legislative obligations, our community and conservation projects and charitable arm, the Gemfields Foundation, indicate our integrity. But we’re not done there. We can always do better.

This isn’t a project with a start and end date. The efficacy and ethos of Gemfields’ approach will continue to evolve and improve. As the mines themselves have a 20+ year lifespan, our approach has to be considered as a long-term aspect of the business.

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Our Role as Industry Leaders

Gemfields is a leading advocate for improvements to the wider coloured gemstone and jewellery sector.

From providing expertise at cross-sector panel groups, to sharing best practice at an operational level and researching future consumers trends that we can address by aligning with jewellery brands and fashion editors, we want to build the desire for coloured gemstones together.

These initiatives have provided open-access tools used by the whole industry, such as guidance to improve supply-chain transparency and white papers to identify areas for future focus.

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Advising industry-wide working groups

Gemfields is at the heart of actions to develop pioneering industry standards and initiatives, demonstrating that seeking responsible practices does not come at the cost of business success, but the opposite.

Gemfields provides advice to the Responsible Jewellery Council and has been a co-founding member of the Coloured Gemstone Working Group since 2015, a consortium of well-known jewellery brands who have pooled together to advance best practice. The CGWG has created the Gemstones and Jewellery Community Platform, which provides businesses throughout the industry with access to information, training and audit tools to support their journey towards improved sustainability and responsible sourcing.

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Research and reports

As well as undertaking our own research to further widespread understanding of the industry, we curate independent reports and make these available here.

Demonstrating transparency

Gemfields is the only mining company to publish not only its revenue data but its sales and production volumes, and taxation and royalties paid to host governments.

Countries of origin receive proper and full tax payments based on the transparently reported revenues at full gemstone value, and every gemstone recovered is accounted for. This means our host countries are, for the first time, receiving proper participation in their coloured gemstone resources. It is our hope that in the future consumers will demand this from all their jewellery purchases, and other host countries will receive fair participation in their coloured gemstone resources too.

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Pursuing continuous improvement

Gemfields recognises where international standards fall short of consumer expectations and aims for continuous improvement when it comes to our sustainability and responsible sourcing goals. We aim to drive the sector forward and bring others with us. There is always more that can be done and higher standards that could be reached.

 

Find further information about responsible sourcing and sustainability, as well as the principles and policies that guide us here.

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What Principles Do We Adhere To?

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Our operations have to adhere to the national regulations on mining. Rightfully, everything from licensing, to safety, to environmental rehabilitation is governed by strict codes of conduct and laws. As a minimum, we will comply with these and rectify any non-compliances we find.

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Over and above this, we aim to uphold international best practices, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Vision 2030.

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We also set our own ambitious targets. Further information can be found in People and Environment, Community, Conservation and Industry Partnerships.

In recent years, Gemfields has been scrutinised for upholding international standards when it comes to security and human rights, and the coloured gemstone industry at large is often criticised for its approach to bribery, corruption and fraud.

To demonstrate our commitment to fulfil our obligations in these areas, we have secured and implemented the following:

  • Membership of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) organisation, a globally recognised standard. This is a unique achievement for a company of our size, and ensures training of security forces on VPSHR principles has been obtained and is upheld;
  • Modern Slavery Act Policy;
  • Comprehensive Due Diligence policy with respect to suppliers and customers, part of our Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Policy;
  • Zero tolerance policy on bribery and corruption, backed by full Policy and training programme;
  • Pioneering Operational Grievance Mechanism at Montepuez Ruby Mining;
  • Internal audit function.
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We believe our customers should have the confidence of knowing that their gemstone has actively benefitted the country and community from which it came.

We work hard at our commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainability to ensure that Gemfields gemstones meet these high standards of provenance.

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How Do We Go About
Responsible Sourcing?

Our values of transparency, legitimacy and integrity prevail throughout our mining operations, where the gemstones themselves are found, giving rise to our claim that Gemfields gemstones are responsibly sourced. Here is an overview of the process.