Great news for our non-profit partner EarthWorks and concerned citizens around the U.S. Target, the third-largest retail chain in the U.S., has decided it will not sell “dirty gold.” This refers to gold that is mined in a corrupt industry that often displaces communities, abuses workers and harms the environment.
To ensure retailers understand what standards to follow when buying gold from responsible miners, EarthWorks “No Dirty Gold” campaign has created a clear set of “Golden Rules:”
Respect basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law.
Obtain the free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities.
Respect workers’ rights and labor standards, including safe working conditions.
Ensure that operations are not located in areas of armed or militarized conflict.
Ensure that projects do not force communities off their lands.
Ensure that projects are not located in protected areas, fragile ecosystems, or other areas of high conservation or ecological value.
Refrain from dumping mine wastes into the ocean, rivers, lakes, or streams.
Ensure that projects do not contaminate water, soil, or air with sulfuric acid drainage or other toxic chemicals.
Cover all costs of closing down and cleaning up mine sites.
Fully disclose information about social and environmental effects of projects.
Allow independent verification of the above.
Target has taken a huge step by declaring they will not sell “dirty gold.” Being such a large U.S. retailer, they will surely influence others to buy from responsible mining companies. Hopefully, soon we will have access to easy alternatives and the gold industry will no longer harm the lives of those involved.
Smartphones: The New Blood Diamonds?
Hundreds Of Nigerian Children Poisoned by Gold Mining Operations
Lady Gaga Reportedly Ends Bad Romance with Target Over Political Donations
Photo Credit: istock.com