The Tiffany & Co. Foundation are here to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef, announcing earlier this year a 1.4 million dollar donation as well as a sparkling ocean blue necklace the Tiffany Wave Pendant with 100% of proceeds supporting the Reef. Diamonds that do good are truly a girl’s best friend. Anisa Kamadoli Costa is behind the mission, an expert in protecting the world’s oceans. We asked Anisa ten questions about her work with Tiffany & Co:
How did you first get involved in protecting the world’s oceans?
“At the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, we made our first grant to support coral and marine conservation in 2000. That was the same year the foundation was formed, so coral and oceans conservation have always been central to our work. We are inspired by the beauty of the sea and its creatures, and we also recognise that oceans are vital to all life on Earth. Oceans provide more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe and support hundreds of thousands of species. Beyond that though, the health of our oceans also affects the health of life on land— including serving as buffer against climate change.
“Despite this, only 1 percent of philanthropic funding goes toward ocean conservation today. I am proud that our Foundation is helping change that. We have given more than US$20M to coral and marine conservation efforts through our grant making, and we are also partnering with other global philanthropic organisations to have a greater impact and use the power of our collective voice and dollars to address this urgent issue.”
How is Tiffany & Co minimising their environmental impact?
“Tiffany & Co. has a long legacy of conserving the natural landscapes that provide the raw materials and the inspiration for so many of our creations. We want to preserve natural beauty and secure resources for generations to come. To do this, we have integrated sustainability practices throughout our operations and our supply chain. For example, we work in our supply chain and with other sectors to promote responsible mining standards and practices, whether for diamonds, precious metals or gemstones. We also set ambitious goals on critical issues such as climate change so that we can support progress: To help the world meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to less than 2° C, we are working toward net-zero emissions by 2050. As it relates to the oceans, over 10 years ago, we made the simple choice to stop using coral in our jewellery. Given the profound threats to reefs and oceans, we also began advocating for others in the jewellery industry to follow our lead.”
Most interesting or need-to-know fact you have learnt about our oceans through all your work with Tiffany and the Wildlife Conservation Network?
“Oceans cover approximately 71 percent of the globe, and yet we know more about the moon than we do the ocean!”
Favourite piece from the Tiffany Wave collection?
“My favourite piece is the white gold and blue sapphire pendant—the sapphires glimmer like the ocean in the sun. It is also a great feeling to know that with the Tiffany Wave collection, which will be available exclusively in Australia, 100 percent of profits will benefit the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef as part of Tiffany’s global partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Network.”
Do you have a favourite part of the ocean?
“I had the chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef on a recent trip to Australia, and I was awestruck. The Reef truly is an international treasure. The Reef is also a powerful example of the ocean’s value, from serving as an irreplaceable haven for biodiversity, to providing an engine of economic development for the region, to inspiring so many people as a source of natural wonder and beauty.”
Ultimate by-the-sea soundtrack?
“Coming from New York City, I prefer to enjoy the quiet tranquility of the ocean as my soundtrack. The beach is a great place to unplug.”
Best part of what you do?
“There really are so many great things about what I do—from the dynamic nature of my job, to the opportunity to work with truly passionate people, to the chance to make a difference on some of the most important issues of our time. I am privileged to work with Tiffany employees at every level of the company across the globe to advance responsible practices and achieve our sustainability goals.”
Are there other parts of the word’s environment that you would like to work with Tiffany on impacting positively as well as the ocean?
“One of the things that I think is unique about our approach to sustainability is that we look at the issues holistically: Environmental issues affect people and communities, and an issue like climate change has an impact on other environmental issues such as the health of the ocean. We live in an interconnected and interdependent world, and as a business, we look for ways to make a positive impact in everything we do, everywhere we work—from sourcing our precious raw materials from responsible mines, to paying workers in our diamond workshops a living wage, to using sustainable paper in our iconic blue boxes and bags, to making smart investments in renewable energy and carbon-saving projects. As we explore new opportunities in our business, we know we can make a lasting, positive impact—on people and the planet—when we consider all of the issues holistically.”
What can we do to have less of an impact on the ocean?
“I am inspired when I see individuals making sustainable choices because simple steps can make a big difference. And by modelling these choices, we can influence our friends and communities. Some easy things people can do include avoiding single-use plastic by carrying reusable bags for shopping, reusable mugs for coffees on-the-go, and foregoing plastic straws.
“I also encourage everyone to visit the Reef and see the beauty for themselves. Some people think they shouldn’t visit to minimise the damage, but there are ways to do so responsibly, and a visit to the Reef inspires you to help protect this beautiful place. (And when you do, choose Reef-friendly sunscreen and responsible tourism providers!)”
What is your next mission?
“Tiffany has committed to a minimum donation of USD$4 million (approximately AUD$5.4 million) globally to the Wildlife Conservation Network by December 2019 to protect endangered and vulnerable wildlife and marine life. With the Tiffany Wave collection, our customers can be a part of the journey, using our jewellery as a conversation starter and a symbol of hope. We hope to raise funds and awareness about the Great Barrier Reef so that more people are inspired to protect this amazing ecosystem.”
by Roxy Lola