This week, Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa announced that the first initial tests by local scientists and company experts on how kimberlite waste ore – what’s left of the super hard rock in which rough diamonds are found once the diamonds are recovered – can be used to absorb carbon dioxide, showed promising results, potentially even compensating the 997k tonnes of CO2 emissions generated by the entire company in a full year. The company aims to further reduce its footprint by shifting from fuel-powered to renewable energy throughout its operations.
HB Antwerp has kicked off its Innovation Lab in Botswana, welcoming 30 graduates in the field of Engineering and Technology, with a special focus on creating diversity and gender parity in the diamond industry, engaging young women through a collaboration with pan-African incubator WomHub. HB Antwerp’s Botswana program intends to allow the participants to develop industry-specific knowledge but also helping them finetune their talents such as leadership and intrapreneurial skills.
In the presence of the representatives of several diamond producing, trading and manufacturing hubs, including Belgian Ambassador Jozef Smets, Angolan President Lourenço last week officially opened the Saurimo Diamond Development hub, aimed at reinforcing development and employment in Angola’s diamond-rich Lunda Sul province. The large Diamond Hub site already hosts three diamond manufacturing plants and will be completed with other diamond related services and training centers, as well as banks, restaurants, shops, convention centers and residential areas.
In an extensive article, The Guardian weighs the arguments of many LGD producers who claim the diamonds they produce in a factory are a more ethical alternative, pointing to the devastating effect a complete shift away from mined diamonds would have on entire communities whose livelihoods depend on the diamond industry. Quoting Cristina Villegas from NGO Pact, "framing it as an ethical decision, while in my opinion it is actually the complete opposite", the article states that walking away from mined diamonds will hurt exactly the same communities consumers are concerned about.
On the occasion of the launch of their latest Progress Report, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) released its ‘Create Beautiful’ video, to showcase and encourage sustainability action throughout the supply chain. The video features CEOs from some of the leading names in the jewellery and watch industry, as well as special interest groups.
ALROSA, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carats, announced it would invest nearly US$60 million (at least RUB 4.2 billion) in the next five years for the social and economic development of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and local communities in the regions. The miner is committed to a socially responsible way of doing business, ensuring social and economic stability in Yakutia, one of the most remote regions in the Northeast of Russia with a harsh climate and sophisticated logistics.
Lately there has been another avalanche of press releases and media attention drawn to Laboratory Grown Diamond (LGD) producers and retailers who decide to jump on board of the LGD train. Before everybody starts to scream bloody murder, the whole LGD debate, this opinion piece included, is not about one versus the other. The point is precisely the opposite.
LVMH announced the launch of the Gemstones and Jewelry Community Platform, a joint venture inspired by the luxury group’s sustainability commitments. The Coloured Gemstones Working Group (CGWG), created to introduce positive change across the jewelry industry, has actively promoted responsible sourcing of raw materials for many years.
With Generation Z becoming adults and thus consumers, the sustainability decade is underway. It's widely known Gen Z is willing to reward brands that have a positive impact on the environment and society and disconnect from those that do the opposite. So luxury brands have to step up their game if they want to be agents of change when it comes to sustainability and they should act now. Bain & Company collaborated with sustainability specialist Positive Luxury to paint a picture of what a leading luxury brand might look like in 2030.
A recent clip from Euronews spotlights Angola's efforts to build a transparent and sustainable diamond industry, part of President Lourenço's reform agenda, at the development site of Saurimo, Lunda Sul.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) and Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) have entered a cross-membership partnership and signed mutual codes of conduct. The two leading diamond and jewelry industry organizations are dedicated to the adoption of responsible business practices across the supply chain.
Mining company De Beers has launched an ambitious vision to reach 12 milestone KPI's, three in each of four key area's - Thriving Communities, Ethical Practices, Protecting Nature and Equal Opportunities, to be achieved by 2030.
By 2030 De Beers wants to
Tiffany & Co announced it will be detailing the entire journey of each and every diamond in one of their jewels, complete from mine to finished jewelry piece, in a "full craftsmanship journey". In a dedicated certificate, for each stone, Tiffany will tell the story of the diamond's origin, where it was cut and polished, graded and set and in which circumstances. The company believes that by doing so, they will not only tap into consumer demands for transparency, but as an iconic brand also aims to create awareness and inspire others to bring about broader change.
Alrosa, the world's largest diamond producer and Brilliant Earth, the retailing company that focuses on responsibly sourced fine jewelry including natural and lab-grown diamonds, have partnered for an exclusive jewelry collection under Alrosa's "Diamonds That Care" campaign. The pieces, ranging in price from $790 to $2,190, are made of recycled gold and include natural brownish diamonds mined in the Russian Yakutia region.
Everledger has announced an updated version of their Blockchain Platform, a meeting space for diamond suppliers and retailers underpinned by blockchain technology, that allows industry players to leverage transparency and sustainability in their business models. According to Everledger’s release, the diamond industry, accelerated by the COVID pandemic, can no longer afford to ignore a new reality of consumer awareness on provenance and ethical considerations, and their updated platform aims to help them to get on board.
If you want to shine, sometimes you just have to take the plunge. It is by taking this attitude that the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) distinguishes itself when it comes to sustainability, specifically by focusing on corporate social responsibility in Africa.
Elodie Daguzan, Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), last week expressed the WDC’s support for the artisanal diamond miners in the countries that comprise the Mano River Union (Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Guinea). The WDC was there to discuss the implementation of a regional approach to reinforce the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPSC), which aims to assist artisanal diamond miners in obtaining better access to the legitimate diamond supply chain while receiving fair value for their work.
Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) – the global standard setting organisation for the jewellery supply chain - has strengthened its ongoing commitment to gender equality by signing the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) ‘Declaration on Gender Responsive Standards and Standard Development’.
Anglo American and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) have joined forces to develop what will become the world's largest hydrogen powered ultra-class electric mining haul truck. The monster truck is key to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan and is part of their efforts to live up to their assertion that mining ought to contribute to a low-carbon world.
Indian diamond manufacturer and exporter Star Rays announced it is working towards becoming India’s first carbon-neutral diamond company, highlighting its commitment to sustainable business practices.
The Diamonds of Botswana. If you have not watched (and shared) the video yet, it is high time you do. Andrew Morgan is the director of The True Cost, a documentary about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically.
In a wide-ranging keynote address at the African Mining Indaba taking place this week in Cape Town, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani laid out his vision for the mining industry and the steps it must take to "connect the future of mining with emerging and next-generation societal values. These are the values of increased transparency, responsible technological innovation, sustainability and shared prosperity, all of which are emergent in our world and are shaping a very different future society."
Elodie Daguzan, a 19-year veteran of the diamond industry and currently Head of Communications and Industry Relations at Rubel & Ménasché, has been appointed Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC). She will officially assume duties on February 1, 2020, following approval by the organization’s Board of Directors.
[The lab-grown diamond industry is like] the Wild, Wild West, making eco claims for its products just because they don’t get their diamonds from the earth. Just because you are not mining does not make your production sustainable.
- Stanley Mathuram, a vice-president SCS Global Services. Lab Grown Diamond Council has commissioned SCS to produce a standards framework on sustainability. Few growers are participating in the pilot.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa served as a co-organizer of the ‘Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’ panel session at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum business program in Sochi, the company announced today. Russia and African countries together account for about 75% of the global rough diamond production and are truly interested in the sustainable development of the global industry.
In early 2019, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) prodvided an update on two pilot projects to distribute an illustrated booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners,” which was created to help small-scale miners learn more about the quality and classification of the gems they recover, and ultimately to help them obtain greater market value.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has entered into a partnership with the United Nations Global Compact to develop best practice impact case studies for building awareness and educating key stakeholders across the jewelry supply chain from mine to retail on how businesses can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the RJC recently organized a roundtable discussion with Antwerp-based RJC members.
Back in May of this year, the Lab Grown Diamond Council (LGDC) trade organization retained a third-party certifier and standards developer, SCS Global Services (SCS), to audit and analyze lab grown diamonds against a stringent set of sustainability criteria. SCS has now launched a pilot project for leading producers and retailers of synthetic diamonds.
Members of the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be traveling to Antwerp, Belgium, for the organization’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place October 2 and 3, 2019. The yearly gathering of the WDC membership will provide the opportunity to review the position of the diamond and jewelry industry regarding the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, less than two months before the KP ends its current reform and review cycle.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa, the world leader in diamond production, confirmed its status as a leader among gold and diamond mining companies in terms of investments in social programs, according to a study conducted by the PwC Advisory. The study, which is based on the official reports of companies who mine precious metals and rough diamonds, covers the period from 2016 to 2018 and focuses on key aspects of sustainable development, including investments in social programs and environmental protection me
The World Gold Council (WGC), the market development organisation for the gold industry, last week announced the launch of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMP). The RGMPs are a framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. The WGC, working with its members, the world’s leading gold mining companies, has set out the principles that it believes address key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has appointed Ian Rowe as its new Executive Director, with effect from September 2, 2019. His appointment follows the impending departure of Dorothée Gizenga, who as DDI's founding ED has provided leadership and inspiration for more than a decade, and who will now take on a new role as Regional Director to lead DDI's expansion in Africa. She'll be based in Kinshasa, DRC.
Mercury Free Mining (MFM), a recently-established nonprofit organization, is hoping to offer a $1 million prize to anyone (individual, team or organization) that discovers an affordable and reliable alternative to mercury in artisanal a small-scale gold mining. MFM founder chief executive officer Toby Pomeroy is organizing this challenge in response to the severe global health and ecological impacts resulting from the use of mercury by artisanal gold miners (ASGM).
The De Beers Group’s carbon-capture research at the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada has received a funding boost following the award of a C$675,000 (US$514,000) grant from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program.
Speaking at a meeting of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which took place during the UN’s 2019 "High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development", The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) president Gaetano Cavalieri advocated for the position of small and medium-sized enterprises. Sustainable economies rely on the contribution of SMEs, he said, but too often they find themselves operating at a severe disadvantage when compared to larger companies.
Russia's Alrosa is the world's largest diamond miner by volume, yet the company has largely flown under the radar in the United States, the world's largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company's North American division, is on a mission to change that, and she says Alrosa's sustainability initatives are the key, according to Richard Feloni of Business Insider. Further, the company's transparent mine-to-retail value chain is an easy sell for American retailers seeking to assuage their customers' desire for responsible supply chains.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on Tuesday published its second sustainability report (available to download here), looking at the impact the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry has with regard to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), locally as well as internationally.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) today launched its new Code of Practices (COP). The COP defines responsible, social and environmental business practices for companies in the jewellery supply chain and commits members to adhere to a robust set of comprehensive auditable standards. This marks the third iteration of the COP since the RJC formed in 2005, and reflects the evolving needs of the industry and demands of consumers globally.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains kicks off today in Paris, and the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be an active participant.