Published 3 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Tiffany & Co has become the first luxury jeweler to share the full craftsmanship journey of its diamonds; while satellite tech is helping Unilever root out
deforestation in its palm oil supply chain.
Image credit: Tiffany & Co.
This week, Tiffany & Co. announced that it will take an industry-first
step in diamond traceability by sharing the full craftsmanship journey of its
newly sourced, individually registered diamonds (0.18 carats or larger),
starting in October.
For years, Tiffany has been open about its efforts to not only ensure that its
gems are conflict-free, but that every link in its supply chain contributes to
the wellbeing of people and the planet. In 2014, it declared that it sources
100 percent of its
from known mines or suppliers with multiple known mines, and only from countries
that participate in the Kimberley Process Certification
Scheme – which requires its members to
certify shipments of rough diamonds as 'conflict-free' and prevent conflict
diamonds from entering the legitimate trade. The company went further, though,
in 2016 — when it recognized that, despite their participation in the Kimberley
scheme, human rights abuses continued in countries including Angola and
Zimbabwe; so, Tiffany refuses to purchase rough or polished diamonds from
Zimbabwean or Angolan sources — and it implemented a Diamond Source Warranty
which requires diamond vendors to guarantee that loose polished diamonds were
not obtained from these countries.
Then, in 2019, Tiffany committed to become the first global luxury jeweler to
promise full transparency into its supply chain by providing the full
(region or countries of origin) of its individually registered diamonds.
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“Today, we advance our commitment to diamond traceability one step
further,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Tiffany’s chief sustainability officer,
said in a statement. “Our customers deserve to know that a Tiffany diamond was
sourced with the highest standards, not only in quality but also in social and
environmental responsibility. We believe that diamond traceability is the best
means to ensure both.”
Offering this degree of supply chain transparency, an industry first among
global luxury jewelers, is made possible by the company’s 20+-year investment in
Image credit: Unilever
Meanwhile, Unilever has launched a pilot with Palo Alto-based geospatial
data analytics experts, Orbital Insight to get
unprecedented, well, insight into its palm oil supply chain.
Understanding and managing land
land conversion in global supply chains, in a spatially explicit way, is
increasingly critical for ensuring the sustainability of agribusiness sourcing
and operations. But images alone can’t prevent deforestation; real-time
— and being able to identify links between the mills and the farms or
plantations that supply them — is key.
“Better monitoring helps all of us to understand what’s happening within our
supply chains,” said Marc Engel, Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer. “By
companies coming together and using cutting-edge technology to carefully monitor
our forests, we can all get closer to achieving our collective goal of ending
Unilever has been at the forefront of the CPG industry’s efforts to make
sustainable palm oil a reality. In 2014, Unilever partnered with the World
(WRI), which enabled the company and its suppliers to use WRI’s Global
Forest Watch platform to monitor forest cover change around commodity supply
areas and processing facilities such as palm oil mills. In 2016, it was part of
a working group that developed a unifying definition and coherent set of rules
for ‘no deforestation’ palm
In 2018, Unilever and Indonesian government-owned palm oil plantation company
PT Perkebunan Nusantara signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate
to support local mills and smallholder
in Indonesia to produce palm oil according to the standards of No deforestation,
No development on peat and No exploitation of people and communities
Now, its new partnership with Orbital Insight builds on the transparency
Unilever achieved through Global Forest Watch – giving it an even clearer picture
of where harvested crops are coming from, even down to the individual field;
which, in turn, allows the company to predict the possibility of issues such as
deforestation and, when found, to take action.
Unilever explained in a blog
that by combining tens of thousands of satellite images with geolocation data
and applying artificial intelligence and scalable data science, its partnership
with Orbital will yield unique insights by showing the predicted likelihood that
a farm or plantation is supplying any given mill. Unilever and Orbital are
working to finesse this into an operational methodology, and are testing the
technology at a small number of palm oil mills in Indonesia and soy mills in
Watch this video for a glimpse at Orbital Insight’s tech:
The company says that this approach can bring a new level of sophistication to
traceability — one that has the potential to work on an industry-wide scale.
Published Aug 19, 2020 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST