Anisa Kamadoli Costa, CSO of Tiffany & Co., provides some great insight into the sustainability initiatives and goals of the premium jewelry retailer, including a strategy based around the SDGs
Ethical Corporation: What’s your current role and what are your responsibilities?
Anisa Kamadoli Costa: I serve as the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) of Tiffany & Co. and Chairman and President of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. I work closely with our CEO, Frédéric Cumenal, to elevate Tiffany’s approach to sustainability and fulfill our vision of sustainable luxury to drive meaningful change. At Tiffany, we develop sustainability programs and practices that continue to enhance our brand, improve efficiency, enrich communities and steward natural resources. This is achieved by partnering with NGOs, investors and our employees in setting goals and measuring performance to build alignment across the company.
Ethical Corporation: What projects are you most proud of in your current role?
Anisa Kamadoli Costa: Tiffany has a strong track record of speaking out about critical issues facing our planet and society. We don’t shy away from tough issues such as protecting pristine landscapes and biodiversity in Yellowstone National Park, and the damaging effects of mining at Alaska’s Bristol Bay. We are also voicing support for those protecting human rights in Angola and Zimbabwe. We continue to use the power of the Tiffany brand and our voice to encourage responsible and ethical behavior and promote meaningful change.
Ethical Corporation: The broad umbrella of sustainability has changed a lot over the years. How do you see corporate sustainability evolving over the next 5 years?
Anisa Kamadoli Costa: Sustainability efforts are continuously becoming more and more integrated into all aspects of corporate strategy and embedded across all departments within an organization. There is growing recognition that sustainability is an integral part of the business strategy, and that it is a business imperative to align sustainability goals with long-term growth objectives. Over the next five years, I see this integration continuing.
Ethical Corporation: There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, how are you embedding the Goals into your strategy? How was this decided?
Anisa Kamadoli Costa: Our sustainability efforts focus on issues most material to our business, and we continue to address many of the Global Goals into our corporate strategies.
For example, SDG 12 calls for “Responsible Consumption and Production.” At Tiffany, we are committed to obtaining precious metals, diamonds and gemstones and crafting our jewelry in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible. As a long-time leader in the jewelry industry, we work to advance rigorous responsible mining standards and contribute to the well-being of the communities in which we operate.
In alignment with SDG 13 “Climate Action,” Tiffany recently pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, joining other leading companies in setting long-term climate change goals. The economic costs and social risks of climate change are becoming increasingly visible – and the science is unequivocal. One of our global initiatives is to replace energy-intensive lights in retail displays and overhead lights with efficient LED lights. At our manufacturing and distribution facilities, we are implementing a variety of energy-saving and emission-reducing programs, including the use of solar arrays. Around the world, we aim to reduce our environmental footprint in an effort to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change.
Through The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s grantmaking efforts in our coral and marine conservation program, our grantees are addressing SDG 14 “Life Below Water.” Over the last 15 years, the Foundation has awarded nearly $15M to coral and marine conservation, including addressing the impacts of climate change on coral reefs which provide a critical habitat for more than a quarter of all marine species. There has been an increased focus on ocean protection from governments and communities around the world, with a staggering number of new Marine Protected Areas created in the last year. In addition, Tiffany eliminated using coral in jewelry over 10 years ago, which is indicative of our approach and philosophy on sustainability.
Ethical Corporation: You are participating in the Responsible Business Summit USA next April, could you tell us why these types of gatherings are so important for the sustainability community?
Anisa Kamadoli Costa: The Responsible Business Summit is a unique opportunity for global brands and sustainability thought leaders to connect, collaborate and contribute toward a sustainable future. Collaborating within and across sectors and sharing best practices is critical to successful sustainability efforts. Each responsible business takes action within its own operation and supply chain, but true, meaningful change comes from collaboration and knowledge sharing. The sustainability sector is a very collaborative and open sector – acknowledging that the greatest gains for our society come from leveraging best practices and lessons learned.
Ethical Corporation: And finally, what are you most looking forward to at next year’s Responsible Business Summit USA?
Anisa Kamadoli Costa: The Responsible Business Summit will be an exciting forum to exchange new ideas, brainstorm around shared challenges and solutions, and learn about what other companies are doing to really push the envelope on innovation in this area. I am looking forward to thoughtful discussions and debate with business leaders and sustainability counterparts from different perspectives and disciplines.
Anisa will be joined by 20 more high-level sustainability professionals at the Responsible Business Summit USA in New York, April 12-13. To find out more about the event, and see how you could join, please follow this link
April 2016, New York
Through interactive workshops, roundtables and case studies senior executives from the likes of; Timberland, Interface, Citi, Adobe, Campbell’s will provide practical insights on the current issues faced in sustainability.