July 2nd – Today, BJ’s Wholesale Club, with 202 locations in 15 Eastern U.S. states, became America’s first independent wholesale club company to commit to responsible metals sourcing by endorsing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules, a set of social, human rights, and environmental criteria set to improve metal mining practices around the world. BJ’s is also pledging to source their metals without harming Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed – the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.
“BJ’s Wholesale Club is proud to support the No Dirty Gold campaign and pledge protection to Bristol Bay by sourcing metals through socially and environmentally responsible methods for our jewelry and electronics offerings,” said Scott Williams, Assistant Vice President of Quality Assurance and Environmental Stewardship for BJ’s Wholesale Club. “BJ’s recognizes the roles that our partnership has with our environment, our buyers, our suppliers and our Members. We will continue to find newer ways to provide high-quality products at an excellent value to our Members that reduces our impact on the environment.”
The Golden Rules have now been signed by eight of the top 10 U.S. jewelry retailers, with combined annual sales of more than $9 billion, about 13% of the U.S. jewelry market. This list includes Tiffany & Co., Target Corp., and Helzberg Diamonds, among others.
“We applaud BJ’s commitment to responsible metals sourcing,” says Payal Sampat of Earthworks, who directs the No Dirty Gold campaign. “We hope that other jewelry retailers like Costco and Macy’s will follow their example.”
Additionally, BJ’s pledge to protect Bristol Bay aligns with its strategy to promote the long-term sustainability of seafood supplies. The Pebble Mine is proposed in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that if built, the mine would damage the $480 million fishery, which provides 50% of the world’s wild sockeye salmon, and the 14,000 jobs that rely on it.
“Our people depend on salmon as our primary source of food,” said Bobby Andrew, spokesman for Nunamta Aulukestai, an association of Bristol Bay native corporations and tribes. He continued, “That’s why we oppose the Pebble mine that threatens it. It’s why we appreciate companies like BJ’s that support lasting protection for the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.”