As the world’s largest diamond producer, De Beers is working to raise ethical standards for the entire industry through its Best Practices Principles Assurance programme
The need to reduce the environmental and social impact of gold and mineral mining is changing the way many luxury goods companies do business. Almost all diamonds sold in western countries are certified conflict-free through the 15-year-old Kimberley Process, while the Dodd-Frank Act in the US requires companies to ensure conflict minerals are not in their supply chains.
However "conflict-free" only applies to diamonds that are not being used to finance rebel movements against recognised governments. Campaigners say large numbers of diamonds sold in western shops are tainted by violence, human rights abuses, poverty, and environmental degradation. In Africa, where most diamonds are mined, 1 million diamond diggers earn less than a dollar a day.
With 1750 tons of earth extracted to find a 1.0ct rough diamond, even Canadian diamond mines, which are well-regulated, are often built in environmentally fragile ecosystems, according to The Greener Diamond foundation.
Ensuring that its diamond supply chain is built on strong ethical foundations is crucial to De Beers, the world’s largest producer of producer of diamonds, with 32% of the market by value in 2015. De Beers is also a diamond jewellery retailer, through a 50/50 joint venture with Moët Hennessy...