WHAT BEING B CERTIFIED MEANS TO US
Since the beginnings of our company, how we conduct ourselves has been an important part of our journey and a core part of our culture. Whether it involves our sourcing, our supply chain, our employees or the environment and communities in which we operate, we have always pursued the highest standards of quality and excellence. As we have grown, we have also attempted to communicate this with transparency, and it was through those efforts that we first came to understand the growing movement around Certified B Corporations®.
Certified B Corporations®, or B Corps, are “businesses that meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability”. They are companies committed to using business as a force for good to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. The certification process is conducted by B Labs® through an assessment process that focuses on five broad areas: governance, workers, customers, environment and community. It is a rigorous process, that in our case was conducted over the course of a year and a recent article in Vogue Business cited that the 3,500 companies that have been granted this certification (as of this publication date) were qualified out of 100,000 applications.
Monica Rich Kosann is proud to share that we became a Certified B Corporation® this month.
At MRK, this process grew from our mission statement:
Monica Rich Kosann is dedicated to making jewelry that inspires women, empowers them and makes them stronger. We create jewelry to be a permanent part of lives for generations, all the while challenging ourselves to keep being better for our teams, our suppliers, our customers, and the communities we operate within.
Being a B Corp is also about continuously improving on all the areas of importance. Each company must be re-certified every three years. As many of you who follow our brand know, we have been active on so many fronts regarding Our Values and Social Responsibility and we will continue to build on that foundation. We think it is worthwhile to use this announcement regarding our certification to report on our own initiatives in just some of the areas that were a part of the assessment. Wherever possible, we will attempt to establish, and report on, measurable benchmarks so that our transparency and progress can be reported in the most meaningful way.
As a brand we are a company of women, designing and producing a fine jewelry collection dedicated to empowering women. Over 90% of our team are women and we are committed to an environment of openness and transparency that recognizes that the best ideas come from our own people. We encourage the exchange of innovation and change every day, and it is these ideas that have shaped what our brand looks like today.
We work with a carefully selected group of factories with whom we have longstanding relationships. We screen our factories for social, workplace and environmental practices, and conduct these reviews annually. In 2020, 70% of our production came from factories that have undergone rigorous examinations and certifications from independent global organizations who create clear sets of standards and best practices for jewelry manufacturing and the workplace.
All of the diamonds used in our collection are natural diamonds with one consistent quality standard. They are ideal cut stones with F-G Color and VS1 Clarity. All of our diamonds are ethically sourced under the Kimberly Process Certification and have been since we our inception.
In the past few years we have increasingly used vintage diamonds in a variety of special styles by repurposing these 100 year old stones into new jewelry designs and giving the stones a new life for a new century. When the stones are removed from old jewelry pieces, those pieces are in turn melted so they can re-enter the recycled precious metal supply chain. Over the coming year, we expect to introduce continued initiatives around this unique category.
PRECIOUS METALS & RECYCLING
Our most important precious metal suppliers are certified by the Responsible Jewelry Council or similar organizations. These global organizations provide the highest levels of certification a jewelry manufacturer can receive for supply chain standards in social, ethical and responsible business practices. 97% of our precious metal is sourced from members with these prestigious certifications.
As we closed 2019, we announced that 30%+ of our gold jewelry production was sourced from post-consumer recycled metal. As of mid-year 2020, we can report that 50%+ of our gold comes from these recycled sources and we expect to report further improvement on this front in 2021.
Our products are built for a lifetime. When customers purchase pieces from our collection, we want them to know our goal is to offer timeless designs built to be in their families for generations.
Inventory efficiency is important to us. We utilize smaller batch production methods, so that we will only produce what we think our customers will need. This allows for significant reductions in inventory obsolescence and waste.
To that same end, we and our factories have ongoing metal waste reclamation programs so that unused or scrap waste is continually melted and returned to the precious metals supply chain.
We use shipping boxes made of 70% recycled cardboard and we select and engineer the smallest shipping box possible for our products, while still providing our luxury brand experience. Our tissue paper is 100% SFI certified and our marketing materials, including our paper jewelry boxes, are 100% FSC certified (SFI and FSC are sustainable forestry programs).
COMMUNITY & GIVING
Through our giving initiative, MONICA CARES, which we launched in 2015; we have supported various charitable causes as diverse as Blessings in a Backpack, Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, North Shore Animal League, Women in Need, Girls Who Code, and Embrace Race.
In 2020, we introduced a new program of Volunteer Days wherein all full time employees can spend a paid work day in the community, or alternatively, Monica Rich Kosann will make a contribution equivalent to their daily salary to a charity of their choice.
We will continue to use our brand and platform for ongoing community and giving initiatives.
Whether it is through our blog or on our site, we will update our progress in the various areas the are part of the Certified B Corporation® assessment process. We will also report annually to recap those updates.
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