FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALFOUR, ARTCARVED, KEYSTONE CLASS RINGS
PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR CLEANER GOLD SOURCE
Commemorative Brands Leads as First Class Rings Manufacturer
to Commit to Sourcing Cleaner Gold
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 8, 2007 -- American
Achievement Corporation's Commemorative Brands, Inc., the parent company
of Balfour, ArtCarved and Keystone class rings brands and a leading
manufacturer and marketer of recognition products, has endorsed the No
Dirty Gold campaign's human rights and environmental principles for more
responsible gold production, principles the campaign refers to as the
Golden Rules. More information is available at www.cleanclassrings.com
By signing on to these principles, Balfour, ArtCarved and Keystone become the first class rings manufacturers to call on the mining industry to extract and manufacture gold under higher social, human rights and environmental standards. The company joins other jewelry retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Helzberg Diamonds and Zale Corp. in their support of the Golden Rules. The No Dirty Gold campaign is aimed at reforming destructive mining practices and is led by the international relief and development organization Oxfam America and the environmental organization EARTHWORKS.
"Our primary customers 'college and high school students' make up a generation firmly committed to supporting brands that take corporate social responsibility seriously," said Commemorative Brands General Manager Matt Gase. "Balfour, ArtCarved and Keystone are each committed to sustaining high ethical standards in every aspect of our business. By supporting the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules, we hope to reflect the values of the many students around the country who have a deep commitment to human rights and the environment."
"We're thrilled that Commemorative Brands shares our concerns about the environmental and social impacts of irresponsible mining practices," said Ana Wolfowicz, University of Texas at Austin senior and No Dirty Gold supporter. "This commitment shows CBI takes its obligation to reflect the values of University of Texas at Austin seriously."
As one of the nation's largest jewelry manufacturers, Commemorative Brands utilizes the highest jewelry manufacturing processing standards, including using recycled gold and adhering to the diamond Kimberley Process. It also complies with all Fair Labor Association employment standards.
"According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 80 percent of the gold consumed in the United States is used to make jewelry," said Keith Slack, co-director of the No Dirty Gold campaign and senior policy advisor at Oxfam America. "Commemorative Brands is taking the first step in advocating for the creation of a transparent supply chain for gold from the mine to its customers."
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, American
Achievement Corporation?s Commemorative Brands, Inc. is a leading
manufacturer and supplier of commemorative jewelry, from class rings for
colleges, universities and high schools across the country, to wedding and
affinity jewelry. The company has been creating class and sports
achievement rings and accessories for almost 100 years. American
Achievement Corporation is a Fenway Partners portfolio company. More
information about CBI?s three class ring brands is available at www.balfour.com, www.artcarved.com and www.walmart.com
The No Dirty Gold campaign is a collaboration
between the international relief and development organization Oxfam
America, the environmental organization EARTHWORKS and partner groups
around the world. Since the No Dirty Gold campaign was launched in 2004,
more than 55,000 people have signed a petition calling for an alternative
to ?dirty gold.? In addition, more than a dozen major jewelry retailers,
including Tiffany & Co., Helzberg Diamonds, and Zale Corp., have
endorsed the Golden Rules, the campaign?s principles for more socially and
environmentally responsible mining. More information regarding No Dirty
Gold is available at www.nodirtygold.org