Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has updated its policy on sustainable development and corporate social responsibility in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as best international practices and industry trends, the company writes in a press release. The new policy also confirms the miner's adherence to the principles of business activities in the aspect of UN human rights and the World Diamond Council's (WDC) System of Warranties.
The company initiated its sustainable development policy in 2014, and has since improved its practices in this area, joining a number of international industry organizations – the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), WDC and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). In 2017, ALROSA successfully underwent a comprehensive audit on compliance with RJC’s standards, covering social responsibility, environmental protection, and best ethical principles of business, including fight against corruption, respect for human rights, ensuring decent working conditions. The update enhances its CSR obligations to its employees, and clarifies them regarding state authorities, business partners and the industry community. Its environmental responsibility principles are now in accordance with the best international standards, and they have added to the document the principle of proper information disclosure about rough and polished diamonds and statement of products’ origin.
The miner aims to demonstrate to consumers that modern diamond mining is a transparent, responsible business, consistent with the best international practices. In 2017, Alrosa implemented more than 500 social and charitable initiatives, and it finances regional development programs, social infrastructure, charitable and sponsorship projects, corporate social programs for employees and their families, and renders targeted aid to residents of the main regions of its presence. In total, Alrosa’s social investments reached US$145 million (RUB 10 billion) in 2017 while its environmental activities amounted to about $64 million (RUB 4.4 billion).
The UN member states agreed on the 17 SDGs back in 2015. The agenda is to push for equitable, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic development until 2030. Although the goals target many sectors, the UN expects greater efforts from mining companies which operate large-scale projects and can serve as the primary source of jobs and economic growth in low-income countries. Aside from their positive impact on local economies, mining companies can also promote awareness of matters such as natural environment safekeeping, climate change and social capital.