Walmart claims that its Love, Earth jewelry line is good for workers and the environment, but facts on the ground prove otherwise.
An investigative report by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, "Walmart's 'Love, Earth' Jewelry Line Doesn't Live Up to Green Promises" in the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, revealed abysmal working conditions in the factories that produce the jewelry in Boliva.
And environmental problems exist at the mines in Utah and Nevada, where the gold is mined for the jewelry: acid mine drainage, mercury pollution, and one of the largest polluted groundwater plumes (60 miles!) in the world.
TAKE ACTION: tell Walmart to stop the greenwash! Make their jewelry truly responsible, or drop "Love, EARTH".
- Ethics Office, Walmart
- President and CEO of Wal-Mart
Michael T. Duke
Walmart made a commitment to the environment and workers with its Love, Earth jewelry line, but you have not followed through on your word.
I write to urge you to either make your jewelry truly responsible -- respecting workers and the environment with independent third party verification -- or drop your Love, Earth jewelry line altogether.
An investigative report by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, "Walmart's 'Love, Earth' Jewelry Line Doesn't Live Up to Green Promises" in the Broward-Palm Beach New Times revealed abysmal working conditions in the factories that produce the jewelry in Bolivia. Workers reported unsafe conditions, harassment and bullying, and substandard pay -- hardly an example of social responsibility.
Your response, sending an "auditor" in your pay to check up on the facilities, is hardly convincing. All their report does is highlight the need for independent third-party certification of any standard that call itself "responsible" or "sustainable" like Love, Earth.
And in the U.S. where the gold is mined for the jewelry, groups such as Earthworks have highlighted gross environmental problems as well. Mines operating in Nevada and Utah have been cited for environmental abuses, including water pollution, acid mine drainage, mercury pollution. One of the mines has the largest polluted groundwater plume in North America and perhaps in the world.
In 2007, Walmart signed on to The No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules of Responsible Sourcing, but so far does not seeming to be following those rules.
I'm asking that the 'Love, Earth' jewelry line live up to the commitments that Walmart has made to the Golden Rules -- and to itself. Improve conditionsfor all workers related to Aurafin, including sub-contractors, under the minimal standards of Bolivian law. In addition, there should be independent monitoring of both the Nevada mines and Bolivian factories.
Really, I'm hoping that Walmart can do even better this. Socially responsible production ought to go above and beyond simply meeting existing laws. Please also develop a transparent strategy to raise standards both at the Love, Earth mines and the factories.
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