Loren Stewart LLC Annual Sustainability Report Statement
During 2021, Loren Stewart LLC began a process of embedding sustainable and responsible business practices into its day-to-day operations. As a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), Loren Stewart LLC is committed to implementation of the Code of Practices (COP) standard and as such we have developed a range of policies and procedures to ensure our ongoing compliance with its requirements.
We are also committed to developing and nurturing strong relationships with suppliers and other business partners to promote responsible business practices throughout our supply chain. This includes taking steps to identify and, where applicable, mitigating negative impacts with a particular focus on addressing issues related to human rights, child labour and forced labour.
To achieve this, we carry out due diligence on all of our suppliers in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (OECD Guidance). In 2021 we took the following initial steps on this journey:
- Adopted a supply chain policy in alignment with the OECD Guidance which is available on our website.
- Developed internal control systems and processes for collecting and recording information on the origin of jewellery materials supplied to us and, where available, information relating to due diligence carried out by suppliers.
- Reached out to all of our suppliers to request information.
- Developed a system for identifying risks in our supply chain and ´red-flag locations’.
To understand the potential and/or actual human rights risks that might be present in our upstream supply chain, we asked all of our suppliers to complete a survey questionnaire. This questionnaire asked suppliers to provide information on their legal compliance, labour practices, controls to manage child and forced labour risks, how they manage their impacts to the environment, the controls they have in place to ensure adequate workplace health & safety and the due diligence processes they have in place to address risks related to minerals originating from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (CAHRAs).
We did not find any major human rights risk associated with our immediate tier 1 suppliers but we will be following up with some of our suppliers to encourage them to develop more formalised policies and procedures for addressing potential human rights and labour practice risks.
We were also able to identify all of the gold and silver refiners in our supply chain and all but one of these refiners were found to hold certifications against a standard that is fully aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.
Most of our diamond and coloured gemstone suppliers were able to provide us with information on the geographical origin of stones supplied to Loren Stewart LLC. In some cases, we identified that stones had originated from higher-risk countries (e.g., Brazil, Columbia, Nigeria) for conflict and human rights issues. These countries are, however, also well-established producers of coloured gemstones such as Sapphires and Emeralds and we do not currently have any reason to believe that the gemstones in our supply chain are associated with negative human rights impacts and/or the funding of illegal armed groups. We will continue to work with our supply chain throughout 2022 and beyond to build on these efforts which will include, where applicable, steps to appropriately manage identified risks in alignment with our policies and the requirements of the RJC Code of Practices standard
In addition to the above we have also implemented processes and controls to manage the environmental impacts of our direct business operations. This has included implementing measure to minimise waste, increase recycling of paper and the implementation energy efficiency measures. During 2021 we will continue to seek opportunities to improve our environmental performance.