Target Makes “No Dirty Gold” Pledge

The retailer joined 72 others in a pledge to shun gold from "irresponsible mining."

Target Corporation has joined jewelry retailers across the globe in pledging to seek cleaner sources of gold and precious metals.

The Minneapolis-based retailer became the 73rd signer of the “Golden Rules,” a set of social, human rights, and environmental criteria for more responsible mining of precious metals.

The rules are part of the “No Dirty Gold” campaign, which is spearheaded by a Washington, D.C.-based mining reform organization called Earthworks.

According to Earthworks, the production of one gold ring generates an average of 20 tons of mine waste. Gold mining has also been linked to human rights violations, forest destruction, toxic pollution, and loss of lands and livelihoods.

“Target is proud to be part of the No Dirty Gold campaign,” Tim Mantel, president of Target's sourcing services, said in a statement. “Our approach to sourcing products throughout the world is grounded in our heritage of strong business ethics.”

The No Dirty Gold campaign was launched around Valentine's Day of 2004, and ever since, campaign activists have been pushing big jewelry retailers to sign on. According to an Earthworks release, the Golden Rules are now being adhered to by eight of the top 10 jewelry sellers in the country-Walmart, Macy's, Inc., Tiffany & Company, JCPenney, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Sears Holdings (which includes Kmart), Zale Corporation, Sterling Jewelers, Inc., and QVC.

“Target's commitment brings us one step closer to the day when gold and other precious metals are no longer tarnished by environmental harm or human rights abuses,” Payal Sampat, international campaign director at Earthworks, said in a statement. “The No Dirty Gold campaign applauds Target for this important decision.”

Target serves customers at 1,750 stores in 49 states nationwide and on its Web site. It is one Minnesota's largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $65.8 billion for the fiscal year that ended in January.