The World Diamond Council, the body representing the diamond industry from miners to retailers within the Kimberley Process (KP) today launched the implementation phase of the updated System of Warranties (SoW), an industry self-regulation system set up nearly two decades ago which requires buyers and sellers of diamonds to include a warranty statement on all invoices and memo’s. The context of the UN’s International Day of Peace theme, “recovering for an equitable and sustainable world”, resonated with the philosophy and expanded scope of the upgraded SoW says WDC President Edward Asscher; “It reflects our vision for a diamond industry that is not only free of conflict, but through its actions also promotes safe and secure working environments, equal opportunity and proper governance.”
Reaching much further than the original SoW, which focused mainly on the trade complying with the KP’s standard of conflict free diamonds, the new statement includes a commitment of buyers and sellers to adhere to the WDC SoW guidelines, which references human and labor rights, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering (AML). To implement the new declaration, industry professionals are required to register on the WDC’s dedicated SoW website and annually complete a self-assessment, which is customized to the type of company and relevant compliance to other due diligence systems, like the RJC’s Code of Practices. The SoW toolkit also provides participants with all necessary information and templates that help support each individual company’s sustainability and compliance efforts. Edward Asscher; “The System of Warranties (SoW) is a way for companies to reinforce and translate their efforts on compliance, due diligence and sustainable business practices in their day-to-day business. It is a tangible, open invitation to their suppliers and their customers to dive deeper and explore the company’s individual achievements on these topics.”
The updated SoW will be rolled out across the industry over the coming years, with the support of various international and local industry bodies, such as the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, through an educational program. “The renewed System of Warranties (SoW) is a natural next step in a long history of industry self-regulation that, among others, led to the creation of the Kimberley Process. We are all acutely aware of the threats of inaction to address the challenges our industry faces. The updated System of Warranties (SoW) is a strong signal by and for the industry to keep moving forward”.
More information on how to register and complete the self-assessment can be found on www.wdcsow.org