For over 35 years, Temple St. Clair has enjoyed tremendous success as one of America’s leading women jewelry designers and creative entrepreneurs with conservation and philanthropy as key parts of the company’s mission.

Responsible Jewellery Council – Certification Process

In early 2020, TSC’s executive management team initiated a rigorous process to strengthen the company’s foundation in impact management by implementing a comprehensive Responsible Business Practices program.

To launch this initiative, TSC chose to engage with the certification program created by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), globally recognized as the jewelry industry’s foremost standards-setting and certification body.

Temple St.Clair received RJC certification in May 2021.

Certification by the RJC demonstrates an organization's commitment to responsible practices around human rights, social issues, and the environment in a transparent, accountable manner throughout the jewelry industry from mine to retail.

Certification signifies that we have implemented a thorough framework across all touchpoints of our work to examine, check, and report on our supply chain to the best of our ability. It is a foundation from which to communicate in-depth information and sourcing transparency to our clients, and to contribute to positive advancements within our industry.

By joining other industry leaders and being one of the first companies of our size to be certified by the RJC, we hope to encourage and inspire our colleagues and members of our supply chain to do the same. It takes a village and the more that we band together, the stronger we will be in carrying the jewelry industry forward in this decade of action.

TSC established far-reaching responsible practices for its New York City headquarters as well as measurable compliance standards for its extensive supply chain.

The RJC’s Code of Practices system sets a rigorous framework ensuring greater protection of human rights and financial accountability, proper/humane labor policies and practices, energy and environmental stewardship, safe and healthy working conditions for all stages contributing to TSC’s product, transparent product disclosure, and meaningful, effective community engagement.

We will continue to update this statement and to share information regarding our goals and successes as we continue to create and refine best practices. It is our desire to be a leader in impact management and responsible stewardship within the jewelry industry.

The Process

The company’s first step was to identify, gather, and review local and federal laws applicable to all areas of the Temple St. Clair business.

In addition, the company looked to leading international organizations and guidelines such as the U.N. Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights; Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (CAHRA); and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

Upon thorough review of applicable laws and guidelines by TSC senior management, policies and procedures appropriate to the Temple St. Clair business were created to address the practices of the company and its supply chain in areas that include human rights, product disclosure, CAHRA, KPCS, metals and gemstone testing, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering (AML), labor and wages, energy and environment, health and safety, and community initiatives.

All gemstone and manufacturing suppliers were asked to read and sign Temple St. Clair’s "Supplier Code of Conduct" statement which conveys the company’s commitment and expectations in the areas above.

A supply chain due diligence management system was created and utilized to identify potential risks at each touch point in the company’s supply chain.

We began by reviewing the practices of each TSC manufacturer as well as major gemstone suppliers by issuing a comprehensive questionnaire covering key areas of working conditions, energy & environmental programs, labor and human rights policies, fiscal safeguards, and community initiatives.

The data was reviewed and, based on responses, suppliers and manufacturers were rated by level of risk to determine if serious “red flags” were present – i.e., areas that required additional levels of inquiry regarding responsible business practices, in particular human rights.

TSC followed up by seeking further explanations where needed, and wherever possible, additional documentation was provided. Our ongoing strategy is to regularly investigate, monitor and verify that responsible practices across all areas continue to improve and evolve.

Initial Findings

100% of TSC diamonds are Kimberly Process Certified (KPCS). TSC is seeking additional support via audits and/or alternate certifications to ensure that the KP designations were certified properly.

TSC is currently in the process of verifying that our supply chain for gold and alloys, silver and copper, is operated according to best practices regarding human rights and the environment.

TSC’s primary colored gemstone suppliers tend to acquire material directly from mines and can verify proper practices, safe and humane conditions, and procedures for environmental stewardship.

Medium-to-smaller-sized colored gemstone suppliers tend to work through more than one upstream provider. Most all expressed strong, longstanding relationships with their supply chain partners, most of which are artisanal in nature.

Many of TSC’s direct colored gemstone suppliers cited cases where they provide various forms of support at both the mining and cutting location(s), or within the communities of the upstream suppliers. However, documentation in the form of site audits and certifications was scarce.

Accordingly, TSC has established a 12-month goal to achieve 100% documented responsible gem sourcing practices and policies. TSC will work closely with important smaller suppliers to generate inspection certifications by connecting suppliers with international NGO’s that specialize in bringing proper, sustainable practices to artisanal gemstone miners and cutters. Suppliers that cannot, over time, provide verification will be replaced with those that can.

Key 2020 Accomplishments

A company-wide impact management system was created and put in place.

TSC created and implemented policies and procedures that will ensure a continual focus on, and strengthening of responsible and sustainable business practices.

TSC’s Sustainability Committee designed and implemented a supply chain due diligence system for manufacturers and gemstone suppliers.

The company’s full staff was trained in applicable laws, TSC policies and procedures, product disclosures, and in general, a comprehensive understanding of the sustainability “mindset” required in all areas of the TSC business.

TSC began communications about our sustainability program not only with suppliers, but also with clients and retail partners.

TSC has published this new Sustainability section on our website that will provide ongoing updates and visibility in to TSC’s policies, products, and state of progress in the development of its program and practices.

An ongoing, year-round oversight schedule was designed to monitor compliance and the progress of goals.

Philantrophy In 2020

Temple St. Clair has a tradition of giving back by supporting initiatives that are close to our hearts in community, conservation and art. In 2020, we supported the following initiatives:

Key Goals For 2021

Instill an ongoing impact management “mindset” throughout the TSC culture.

Establish that a minimum 90% of gemstones in TSC jewelry are deemed “responsibly sourced” through proper documentation or otherwise reliable forms of verification. Our goal will be 100% compliance by the end of 2021.

Forge relationships with NGO’s that can support TSC’s suppliers in establishing impact management “frameworks” that ensure greater confidence in supply chain practices.

Verify that 100% of the gold and alloys, silver and copper, used in TSC jewelry are certified as responsibly sourced by the Responsible Jewellery Council by the end of 2021.

Ensure that TSC shipping and packaging supplies are composed of eco-friendly materials. Require that our suppliers ship to us with only recyclable and/or compostable materials.

Working towards 100% plastic free workplace. Actively seeking alternatives to plastic bag usage for jewelry storage.

Eliminate personal single-use plastics in the workplace, particularly take-out containers. To help the TSC team achieve this goal, we will work to identify local vendors that provide low impact delivery systems.

Review and upgrade (where possible) office lighting, AC, heating, electrical, and appliances for those with optimal energy efficiency.

Expand our philanthropic focus to create evergreen initiatives that continue to support community, conservation, and the arts.