2021 has been a big year for Signet Jewelers. In August, the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer announced the creation of its Signet Love Inspires Foundation. A foundation created to support causes that are directly aligned with Signet’s mission to empower everyone to celebrate life and express love.
It was also the first year of their 10-year journey towards achieving the company’s sustainability goals with a focus on environment, social and governance (ESG). A total of 44 goals have been set and they have already fully achieved three of them so far.
I recently had the opportunity to connect with Signet Jewelers CEO Gina Drosos to talk more about their sustainability goals, their recently released corporate citizenship and sustainability report, and their ongoing commitment to their goal – Inspiring Love.
Below are some highlights from the first part of a two-part series:
Robert Reis: Based on our discussion, it seems that your business goals and your sustainability goals are linked. Would that be an accurate statement?
Gina Drosos:Yes. Our business goals and our sustainability goals are intertwined — inextricably linked. Our customers buy jewelry for two reasons – either as an expression of love or as an expression of self. They are gifts of love. They want to know they’re responsibly sourced and that we’re a company that cares about our people and the planet.
Our goal – Inspiring Love – brings out the best in us. Love is at the heart of our business. Our jewelry products and services are designed to help everyone celebrate life and express love. There’s something really powerful about helping people do this. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and Inspiring Love is that something for all of us at Signet. It’s ambitious and it’s tangible.
Reis:Reading your sustainability report, I noticed that you have an interesting framework for how you focus your efforts. Would you like to tell us more?
Droso:We organize our sustainability efforts through a framework we call our three loves: love for everyone, love for our team, and love for our planet and our products.
Love for All People showcases the humanitarian work we do as a company. We believe that love knows no boundaries and does not discriminate – we are advocates for social change. We believe that diversity of perspectives, cultures and experiences drives creativity, innovation and drives results. We champion diversity, equity and inclusion in the communities where we live and work – through our in-store operations, digital transactions and philanthropic giving through our Signet Love Inspires Foundation – all of which show our love for the diverse world in which we operate.
Philanthropy is an avenue we use to address some of the toughest challenges in our communities. We are building on the strengths of our business, including our team members, our global reach and the scale of the philanthropic organizations we support to have even greater impact. For example, our longest running nonprofit partnership is with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We are passionate about supporting St. Jude in its vital mission to help children fight childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses – just like our team members and customers. Over our 23-year partnership, we’ve raised nearly $89 million and look forward to continuing to build on it.
Our Signet Love Inspires Foundation is focused on supporting underserved women and children and promoting social change. To this end, we continue to provide unequivocal support to the people of Ukraine and to those affected by this tragic humanitarian crisis. We suspended business interaction with Russian-owned entities at the start of the war, in unity with people around the world calling for peace. Through our Foundation, we donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to provide humanitarian assistance that helps deliver food, medical supplies, shelter and emergency relief to those who need it most – women and children. We know this conflict is likely to continue for an unacceptable length of time, and we will continue our support for as long as necessary.
We know customers are firm believers in all kinds of love, and they want to know that our company celebrates that, too. Therefore, we work hard to make everyone feel valued, included and celebrated. Here in the United States, we stand for social justice and equity. We provided financial support and vocal advocacy to the Equal Justice initiative which coincided with the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death. Through our “Love Above” campaign, we are celebrating PRIDE Month across our brands and on social media, including donations to LGBTQ+ charities. We also provided financial support for the Trevor Project in honor of Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly gay player. We have signed the Human Rights Council’s Business Statement on States’ Anti-LGBTQ Legislation. We also hold internal town halls that we call “Signet Speaks Out” – so that our highly diverse and engaged team can come together and speak openly about major events in our communities and our country. It is truly inspiring to learn from each other and learn to be allies at this divisive time in our history.
A company whose purpose is to inspire love just needs to stand up for to like. I am proud that we are true champions of underrepresented people through our Foundation and our philanthropic efforts, and strong advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion. I can’t overstate how our purpose drives everything we do.