CEO of Tiffany & Co: A CSR Movement

Jan 25, 2014 10:00 AM ET
Campaign: Conflict Minerals

Michael J. Kowalski, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Tiffany & Co expressed his motivation for CSR and transparency in the jewelry industry. The historic brand has thrived over the last 170 years with upscale jewelry and is taking action in ethical sourcing. Global gemstone and diamond trade has been at the root of conflict in various mineral rich regions of Africa and has accounted for millions of deaths. Kowalski explained Tiffany & Co. as being a founding member of IRMA (Initiative for Responsible Mining) and that the company has opposed the operation of the Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay Region of Alaska. The mining would deeply impact the sensitive ecosystems and effect the health of wildlife surrounding Bristol. Kowalski feels in order to interdict the mine development in Alaska, the Clean Water Act must step forth under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In May, 2000 the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme emerged from South Africa where industry jewelers gathered together to implement a strategy that would erupt the sourcing of conflict diamonds for international trade. However, the process still needs support as the jewelry industry can have difficulty managing ethical transparency. Essentially, a corporate movement that will enact the global jewelry industry to operate to the standards of social responsibility and environmental awareness will ease the minds of many consumers who are questioning the source of their products. Conflict diamonds mirror conflict minerals as they both are mined and retrieved in devastating conditions.


December 31, 2013 marked the end of the first reporting period for the SEC’s Section 1502 Conflict Minerals Disclosure Rule and the beginning of reporting and auditing concerns.The rule requires publicly-held companies to disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals as defined by the law: tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold (3TG) originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and specific adjoining countries. 

The first report, covering calendar year 2013, is due to the SEC by May 31, 2014. The SEC and Government Accountability Office estimate that approximately 6,000 issuers and 280,000 non-issuer companies will be directly or indirectly impacted by the rule. 


• Understand the audit type: process & systems vs. results & compliance 

• Strategically design your final conflict minerals program and report based on OECD and CFSI Internationally accepted guidelines 

• Identify potential audit triggers 

• Preview an audit procedure

The complementary webinar is Wednesday, February 5, 2014 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST. To register click HERE

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