Our spending affects how companies execute corporate responsibility. But could it actually make major corporations reverse the environmental damage they inflict?
In many modern technologies – such as smartphones, electric cars and computers – gold is incredibly important. Yet gold mining can have one of the biggest impacts on the environment’s biodiversity. The land is often heavily affected, no longer usable and even waterways can be damaged.
Companies like Apple and Tiffany & Co. want to be more responsible about the gold they source.
So, they’re sourcing gold from miners who partner with a company called RESOLVE to repair the damage done to the land when mining. Apple will also be tracking this gold – coined ‘Salmon Gold’ – with blockchain technology, an ideal use case for the nascent tech.
Apple has a history of attaining for better ethical and sustainable requirements in its supply chain. The company has been known to exclude suppliers from its supply chain if they do not meet standards and requirements, as well as posting regular conflict minerals and supplier responsibility reports.
Setting a global gold standard
Companies such as Apple set an international standard for other companies to adhere to.
It might seem like mining companies’ interests inherently go against environmental ones. However, there have been various recent initiatives to connect the mining sector with sustainable initiatives, including BHP’s partnership with Conservation International. For mining – especially gold mining – to obtain greater longevity, it’s necessary for the sector to become more responsible and aware of the effect mining operations have on the environment.
Reversing the damage inflicted upon the environment indicates a company’s own willingness to be responsible for their own impact. This can also incentivise some consumers to purchase from select companies who responsibly source, as opposed to those who do not hold their mining suppliers to accountability.