Invigorating Our Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility
ear Fellow Stakeholders,
At Signet, we are proud of our over-two-decade commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in support of our purpose of helping our customers Celebrate Life and Express Love. We believe our CSR strategy is a competitive advantage, informing important aspects of our business such as the diversity and inclusion of our workforce, the inherent trust in the integrity of our jewelry products, our impact on the planet, and our ethos of giving back to the communities where we live and work.
We know our impact on society stretches much further than the places we do business. Throughout the entire lifecycle of our jewelry products – to the joyful moment it reaches our customers’ hands – we are committed to taking the proper steps to lead through responsible actions, wherever we have an impact.
As shown in our 2019 CSR update, we are proud of the great progress made in the past year. From new programs for our most valued asset – our people – to continued advancements in responsible sourcing, environmental stewardship, and charitable giving, we have been focused on invigorating and modernizing our approach to CSR.
We continue to work closely with the CSR Committee on our Board of Directors, which plays a crucial role in overseeing the development of our CSR policies and social, ethical and environmental (SEE) governance framework to ensure a robust enterprise-wide approach for how we conduct business and meet the expectations of our stakeholders. We engage in ongoing efforts to manage Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors for our business and supply chain, and to understand and be responsive to their ESG policies and priorities.
At the same time, we recognize all our stakeholders are feeling the impacts of COVID-19: Signet team members, customers, investors, industry, civil society, local communities, and government. This pandemic crisis further highlights our connection to society. We believe we will emerge a stronger company in many ways, with a continued focus on our corporate purpose and authentic engagement.
We hope this update shows how our four key areas of focus – People, Responsible Sourcing, Environmental Stewardship, and Charitable Giving – deepen our connections with our team members, our environment, our customers, and our communities.
We are fiercely committed to our People First core value, from team members to customers and the communities we serve. As we’re a relationship-based business, our team members are at the heart of our People First core value. This year we’ve activated our Signet Team Member Relief Fund to help our colleagues experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. And we are working to safely bring back our temporarily furloughed team members as soon as we possibly can. We’re also proud of our continued progress in diversity and inclusion efforts. For the second-consecutive year, Signet was one of a limited number of retailers and the only specialty jewelry retailer named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for its efforts to advance women in the workplace.
We continue to be an industry leader in responsibly sourcing the metals and gems used to create our jewelry so that our customers can trust the integrity of our jewelry products. In 2019, through collaborative efforts with partners throughout our global supply chain, we created and launched the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol (SRSP) for Colored Gemstones, and expanded beyond gold and diamonds to include silver and platinum.
We also took intentional steps to increase supply chain integrity including involvement in the Tracr™ De Beers blockchain pilot, additional education and training efforts across the supply chain and support for Project ASSURE, a standard for diamond detection technology in association with Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which was published in March 2019.
In 2019, we continued our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and increasing efficiency by lowering energy usage, reducing travel through video-conferencing, installing water-saving devices, and encouraging a paperless office. We reduced global energy use in 2019 by 12% compared to 2018, in part due to introducing LED lighting in stores and moving to a smaller, more energy-efficient corporate office in Dallas. We also advocated for conscientious environmental stewardship among our suppliers and throughout our supply chain.
In 2019, Signet launched the Signet Gives Back community program, which grants our team members in our Support Center paid volunteer hours to use in Signet partner community events. In 2019, more than 1,400 volunteer hours were logged as part of the program. This year we will continue our support of charitable organizations, with an added emphasis on COVID-19 relief. In addition to our longstanding partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, where we’ve raised nearly $77 million over 21 years, we’re proud to announce a new partnership with Heart to Heart International, a non-profit humanitarian organization committed to getting vital medical equipment and medicine to those who need it most. A portion of every purchase* made at KAY.com, Zales.com, Jared.com and JamesAllen.com will help us provide masks, gowns, gloves, and equipment to health care providers, as well as life-saving medicine to thousands of people.
As we navigate and evolve through COVID-19, we continue to build upon our Path to Brilliance transformation plan, repositioning our company for success in a rapidly changing retail landscape. Likewise, our CSR goals will continue to evolve and address the challenges we face both as a company and society.
Our commitment to society is central to our culture, reflected in our core values, and essential for us to remain both an industry leader and a competitive company. We hope our 2019 update captures our passion for helping our customers Celebrate Life and Express Love, and our promise to continuously improve and advance our corporate social responsibility commitments. On behalf of our company and the CSR Committee, thank you for your interest in our CSR program.
Virginia C. Drosos
Chief Executive Officer
Board Member & Chair of the Board CSR Committee
* From 4/20/2020 - 5/3/2020, Signet Jewelers will donate 2% of the net profits from Kay.com, Zales.com, and Jared.com, up to a maximum donation of $100,000. From 4/21/2020 - 4/30/2020 Signet Jewelers will donate $50 for every order on JamesAllen.com.