Statement of Corporate Responsibility
The Management and Associates of Hardy Brothers Jewellers are aware of the fragility of the beautiful Australian landscape and its ecology. The company is also aware of the potential negative impact that non-regulated industrial activity may have not only on the earth’s environment but also on the lives of workers and their families engaged in industry.
Hardy Brothers Jewellers supports the inclusion of Sustainable Business Practices in its operational policies and those of its supply chain partners.
It is recognised that international supply chains are becoming more complex as the various stages in the production process are increasingly becoming more decentralised across borders and jurisdictions. Although direct involvement through all stages of the external productive process is not practical, Hardy Brothers Jewellers has adopted the approach of requesting the cooperation of its supply chain partners and seeking their assurance that sustainable policies are adopted within their respective operations.
To provide greater certainty in the adoption of identical standards throughout the supply chain, Hardy Brothers supports the recent publication of ISO 204001, the first international voluntary standard on Sustainable Procurement.
Hardy Brothers Jewellers has established policies that reduce the risk of violating environmental and human rights standards. The specific areas identified are summarised under the following sections:
- Maintain policies which maximize the probability that appropriate Environmental Standards are observed in the extraction and processing of precious metals and gems, at each stage of the supply chain and manufacturing process.
- The adoption of ethical labour and human rights standards in accordance with ILO Conventions and Covenants throughout the supply chain.
- Support the elimination of "conflict diamonds" through the Kimberly Process and the adoption of “chain of custody systems” to decrease the risk of gems originating from non- sustainable sources.
- The abatement of greenhouse gas emissions in our Retail and Manufacturing operations.
- Maintenance of processes designed to reduce the consumption of energy and water and correctly dispose of, or recycle waste.
1. Maintain policies which maximize the probability that appropriate Environmental Standards are observed in the extraction and processing of precious metals and gems, at each stage of the supply chain and manufacturing process
Gemstones and precious metals are sourced on world markets. The majority of these raw materials are produced by large scale industrial organisations. Gold producers such as Barrick, Gold Corp, Newmont, Newcrest and diamond miners, De Beers, Rio Tinto, ALROSA, Petra, and Dominion are responsible for a large proportion of global output. These corporations warrant in their Public Policy Statements, to engage in environmentally sustainable mining and extraction processes and are regulated by conditions imposed by the States in which they operate and through self-regulatory methods such as ISO 14001.2
Hardy Brothers Jewellers manufactures the majority of the fine jewellery it markets in Australia. When directly procuring precious metals and gems, we require merchants to limit the sourcing of materials to mainstream producers who are able to demonstrate compliance with declared environmental policies.
Where market conditions permit, we also encourage suppliers to substantially increase the proportion of re-cycled gold and silver included in their products, above the international average. The objective of this policy is to reduce the cumulative disruptive impact on the environment.
We also actively promote our restoration and repair service products which encourages customers to maintain and refurbish their high quality jewellery, watches and clocks. The extension of the effective life of products, sometimes through the generations, positively contributes to sustainability.
Where manufactured products are sourced from overseas, suppliers particularly outside of the EEC, are required to confirm that raw materials are obtained from compliant producers.
Hardy Brothers’ designers provide the specification from which our external suppliers create the jewellery. All our overseas producers predominately supply the European and North American markets. Among their customers are retailers who are recognized for designing some of the world’s most beautiful jewellery and also support sustainable practices in their public policy positions. As an economic consequence, our suppliers are required to adopt environmental and social practices that are consistent with the Public Policy positions of their major customers.
2. The adoption of ethical labour and human rights standards in accordance with ILO Conventions and Covenants throughout the supply chain.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a specialised agency reporting to the United Nations. The major goal of the ILO, is "to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues". 5
Industrial relations and human rights laws in Australia acknowledge the ratification of ILO. Conventions. The Fair Work Act 2009 6 is the central legislation used to regulate industrial relations in Australia. Hardy Brothers Jewellers Workplace Agreements and general employment contracts comply with that legislation. Australian suppliers to Hardy Brothers are also regulated by ILO compliant Industrial Relations laws.
In relation to overseas suppliers, those that are based in the EEC and Switzerland through their Public Policy Statements warrant their compliance to the relevant industrial relations and human rights laws that exist in their jurisdictions.
Where product is sourced from countries classified as being in "non-high income countries" 7 we ask suppliers to complete a written declaration that requires them to confirm that ILO standards exist in their workplaces. 8
3. Support the elimination of ”conflict diamonds” through the Kimberly Process and the adoption of “chain of custody systems” to decrease the risk of gems originating from non- sustainable sources
Hardy Brothers Jewellers, include in their diamond purchase contracts requirement for merchants to certify that the gems they supply comply with the Kimberley Process.
The Kimberley Process is a "joint governments, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments". 9
Besides the destabilizing effect on fledgling democracies, the extraction of diamonds by criminal organisations funds terrorists activities and violates the human rights of the people caught in a cycle of poverty forcing them to work in illegal mines.
Hardy Brothers Jewellers is diametrically opposed to such activity and supports the Kimberley Process which restricts access to world markets by illegal operators.
The Kimberley Process has made a major contribution by eliminating the trade in conflict diamonds internationally. However approximately 25% of diamonds and 70% of coloured gems originate from small scale “artesian producers” which potentially are not subject to the sustainable policies adopted by large scale producers. Many of these miners operate ethically and their activities provide an important source of livelihood to families. However there are some cases, particularly in Africa, where people are required to work in unsatisfactory conditions. It is very problematic to trace the history of every gem stone or gram of metal upstream through the various production stages to their source. This is why Hardy Brothers supports the development of Chain of Custody Systems, designed to improve the visibility of the transition of raw materials through the supply chain and to ensure at each stage the material is processed by a compliant producer.
The greatest source of carbon emissions that occur in the company result from the consumption of electricity in our Retail Stores through the provision of lighting and cooling.
Prior to the introduction of LED lighting, jewellery stores consumed high levels of energy to illuminate merchandise. The old lighting technologies employed also produced high heat loads requiring additional cooling.
Hardy Brothers Jewellers together with other divisions of the Group have embarked on a program of converting all lighting systems to LED. This more efficient technology converts a relatively high proportion of the energy consumed into light and less into heat. As a consequence less energy is consumed to produce light and apply cooling.
Hardy Brothers outlets are now in the final stages of converting to the latest LED technology. It is estimated by 2019 Group output of CO2 will have abated by 50% through the continued conversion to LED lighting systems from 2011 levels.
5. Maintenance of processes designed to reduce the consumption of energy and water and correctly dispose of, or recycle waste.
Hardy Brothers Jewellers operates a specialised manufacturing facility in Newstead Brisbane. This consists of a fine jewellery section and a Swiss accredited Watch Service facility. Best practices are used to conserve energy and reduce waste. Waste water from manufacturing operations is double filtered to remove metals. The facility is regulated by the provisions of the Brisbane City Council in relation to waste management and the Queensland State and Federal Governments on a range of environmental issues.
Where heat is required in the production of jewellery, welding equipment that consumes hydrogen and oxygen is utilised. This process produces zero direct carbon emissions.
In addition, we engage in the recycling of E-waste resulting from the replacement of computers, mobile phones and ink cartridges. The company also sustainably disposes of spent watch batteries through a recognised metals recovery process and recovers a substantial quantity of fine silver each year.
Re-usable distribution containers and packaging are also in use throughout the group.