The World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties (SoW) has entered a public review period following the completion of an industry review. The SoW review and reform process is part of the WDC Strategic Plan and is intended to help industry participants better implement and demonstrate commitment to responsible business conduct when buying or selling rough and polished diamonds. The WDC sees the review as an opportunity to ensure the SoW, and the Kimberley Process, remains fit-to-purpose for contemporary challenges, as it promotes measures to ensure safe and secure working conditions, fair labor practices and sustainable development, as well as seeking to maintain consumer confidence by promising that diamonds are sourced responsibly and ethically.
The WDC says the reforms establish a new level of adherence for members and they call on users of SoW statements to ensure their trading activities maintain strict adherence of universally accepted principles on human and labor rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering in support of the obligatory Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) implementation. The draft of the SoW Guidelines are available for review now and the public review period ends on October 1, 2018. A paper explaining the Reform of the System of Warranties is also available. The new reforms are planned to be implemented beginning in 2019.
Acting President of the WDC, Stephane Fischler, said “Maintaining the integrity of the legitimate diamond supply chain requires constant vigilance and an ongoing progression of policies and practices to ensure that we address the modern challenges facing our industry, today and tomorrow. While the definition of conflict diamonds as those used to fund rebel movements has provided the necessary focus to drive important change, it is a heartbreaking and indisputable truth that the nature of what constitutes conflict has evolved. These SoW reforms reflect our commitment to uphold the duty of care owed to diamond communities by helping ensure safe and secure working conditions, fair labor practices and sustainable development. It also serves as our promise to consumers that they can trust the diamonds they purchase to have been sourced responsibly and ethically.”
Created in 2000 as part of industry self-regulation, the WDC SoW extends the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) by providing added assurances against conflict diamonds entering the legitimate supply chain. The KPCS safeguards the shipment of rough diamonds and certifies them as conflict-free. The WDC SoW picks up from there, requiring all diamond suppliers and diamond jewelry manufacturers to pass on a conflict free warranty statement each time diamond goods (rough or polished) change hands, assuring the next buyer that the diamonds originated within the Kimberley Process system.