Helzberg Diamonds Corporate Responsibility
Helzberg Diamonds is committed to going beyond the industry standards in our efforts to support human rights, environmental stewardship and ethical business practices. Helzberg Diamonds is not a direct importer of merchandise except for loose diamonds. So, to meaningfully ensure compliance with its high standards of ethics, integrity and compliance, Helzberg Diamonds takes the following approach:
- We abide by the Kimberly Process and refuse to directly import, or buy from any importer or other supplier, any diamond mined after December 31, 2002 that is not accompanied by the World Diamond Council warranty statement. This warranty statement requires every seller in the chain of supply to affirm that the diamond has been purchased through authorized channels not involved in conflict funding.
- We require all of our suppliers to comply with a strict Supplier Code of Conduct as a condition of doing business with Helzberg and to warrant such compliance with respect to each purchase order. Helzberg Diamonds' Suppliers Code of Conduct imposes a strict gold and precious metals sourcing policy, establishes principles and code of practices that mirror those of the Responsible Jewelry Council (the “RJC”) and otherwise prohibits the use of child labor, forced labor, or discrimination against employees and requires compliance with applicable laws regarding reasonable working hours, employee compensation, a healthy and safe workplace and protection of the environment.
- We work with trade associations and other non-profit organizations that audit and enforce compliance and promote the continuous development and implementation of responsible social, ethical and environmental business practices. We are a member of the Jewelers of America, a national trade association of retail jewelers and one of the founding members of the Responsible Jewellery Council. The RJC is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote ethical business practices throughout the diamond and gold jewelry supply chain, from mine to retail.
We, through our employees with knowledge of the relevant supply chains, regularly evaluate the risk of slavery and human trafficking and other nonconformance to our Supplier Code of Conduct in our supply chain to identify high risk areas. We do not conduct audits of supplier compliance with Helzberg Diamonds’ Supplier Code of Conduct. We instead refuse to buy diamonds from suppliers that are not accompanied by the required World Diamond Council warranty and we require each supplier to certify compliance with respect to each purchase order. In addition, many of our suppliers are certified members of the RJC and/or The Jewelers Vigilance Committee. As part the RJC Code of Practices certification process, certified members of the RJC undergo scheduled audits by independent third-party firms. And, as a condition to membership in the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, a nonprofit trade association whose mission is to maintain the jewelry industry’s highest standards of ethics, integrity and compliance, members of the Committee are required to sign a written agreement pledging compliance with applicable law and pledging use and dissemination of the compliance materials the Committee publishes plus the conduct of periodic compliance training. We maintain internal accountability standards and hold suppliers and employees accountable for complying with Helzberg Diamonds' Supplier Code and Conduct, which includes compliance with all laws. Any known incidences of violation are subject to appropriate remedial action, which may include training, discipline or termination of employment or supplier contract. Each supplier must train and work with its own suppliers to educate them about Helzberg Diamond’s Supplier Code of Conduct and implement policies that promote ethical sourcing.
Helzberg Diamonds is concerned about the environmental and social impacts of irresponsible mining practices. We are determined to source gold and other precious metals produced under the highest social, human rights and environmental standards. We are working to ensure the gold and other precious metals in our products were not produced at the expense of communities, workers or the environment. We require our suppliers adhere to these same principles and to be in compliance with the conflict minerals laws which Congress passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in order to target conflict minerals, including gold, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) and surrounding region. We fully condemn the use of any minerals to fund conflict in the DRC, in its adjoining countries or anywhere in the world. As a condition of doing business with Helzberg Diamonds, suppliers must agree to require all parties involved in the mining, processing and manufacturing of the products Helzberg sells to respect workers’ rights and labor standards, and to not source gold from areas of armed or militarized conflict where there is a high risk for human rights violations. Suppliers must further agree to support the development of an independent, third party verification system that verifies that gold and other precious metals meet these criteria.
Diamond Supply Standards
Helzberg Diamonds is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, established by the diamond industry in 2003, to prevent the sale of conflict diamonds in the United States and more than 60 other countries around the world. The term conflict diamonds refers to diamonds that have been used to fuel decades-long wars and atrocities in many African countries and are suspected to have financed terrorist activities. Helzberg Diamonds will not purchase any diamond mined after December 31, 2002 that is not accompanied by the World Diamond Council warranty statement, in which the seller certifies and guarantees that the diamond is conflict-free. These programs are monitored by the United Nations, non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International and by the United States Border Patrol and United States Customs.
As a condition of doing business with Helzberg Diamonds, each supplier agrees to ensure the gold, precious metals and diamonds Helzberg Diamonds purchases, subject to availability, comes from sources that meet the following human rights, social and environmental criteria at all stages in the supply chain (mining, processing, refining, recycling, etc.). While Helzberg Diamonds does not independently audit its suppliers, suppliers are under legal and contractual obligation to keep records of the Kimberley Process Certificates for rough diamonds and these certificates must be independently audited and reconciled on an annual basis.
We will not accept products from suppliers that use forced labor (including bonded, indentured or prison labor) in producing their products. Our suppliers are also required not to restrict the freedom of movement of employees or their dependents.
Helzberg Diamonds requires all parties involved in the mining, processing and manufacturing of the products Helzberg sells respect basic human rights (as outlined in international conventions and declarations such as the UN "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and others). Helzberg Diamonds requires our suppliers agree not to source gold from areas of armed or militarized conflict where there is high risk for human rights violations.
In addition, Helzberg Diamonds requires all suppliers involved in the buying and selling of diamonds fully adhere to the principles of the World Diamond Council Resolution on Industry Self-Regulation and all supplier invoices bear the World Diamond Council warranty statement that the diamonds supplied were purchased from sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with applicable United Nations resolutions restricting the trade in conflict diamonds.
Health and Safety
Helzberg Diamonds requires suppliers provide a healthy and safe work environment for their employees in accordance with local laws. Employment facilities must have adequate first-aid facilities, fire exits, safety equipment, safe workstations, clean restrooms and adequate living quarters where necessary.
Helzberg Diamonds requires our suppliers provide working conditions that minimize causes of workplace hazards, ensure physical isolation between employees and machinery, protect employees from airborne particles and fumes, provide free protective equipment, and ensure adequate lighting, appropriate ventilation, proper temperatures and safe noise levels.
Helzberg Diamonds is committed to managing its environmental footprint by eliminating or minimizing negative environmental impacts. We require suppliers comply with local environmental laws and regulations and agree not to source gold, nationally or internationally, from areas designated by a recognized authority as protected, high conservation or other ecological value, such as IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) categories i-iv.