We believe sustainability is a social pact with future generations. Sustainable means meeting our present needs without compromising the needs of our children.
How do we go about accomplishing that? In part by offering products that are made from materials that are recycled/recovered or made from renewable materials. We also encourage manufacturing processes that minimize environmental impacts. More than 85% of our gold is recycled and the majority of the balance comes from American gold mines.
When a product is labeled as "Sustainable," what does that mean?
- For findings and metals, sustainable means the products are made with reclaimed/recycled metal or with third-party-certified ethically mined metal. Many of the products not listed as sustainable in our catalogs or on our website are also likely made primarily or exclusively with recycled metal, we just haven't yet established this with certainty.
- For displays and packaging, sustainable means the products are made from recycled or renewable materials and/or are produced with manufacturing processes that employ environmentally sound methods.
We have been working toward improving the sustainability of jewelry-making processes, products and materials for a long time.
In 1968, two decades before it became industry practice, Rio Grande eliminated harmful cadmium from the solders we sell.
We devised a way to reduce the investment material consumed in our casting operation by 20%.
We've commissioned regular energy consumption audits of our buildings for many years and currently use 33% less energy to run our facilities than we did ten years ago despite the fact that we've continued to grow each year.
We've eliminated toxic solvents from our cleaning processes and now use soap and water to clean our products.
The items above are just a partial list. We see sustainability as a never-ending process filled with opportunities to make the future better than the past. It is an effort we can all participate in and benefit from together. Our commitment to you and, more importantly, to all our children is to never waver in this effort, and encourage others to do the same.
For more information on environmental and social responsibility in the jewelry industry, please visit:
- Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (http://www.mjsa.org/)
- Jewelers of America (http://www.jewelers.org/)
- The Responsible Jewellery Council (http://www.responsiblejewellery.com/)