By David Brough
JAIPUR, India – The World Jewellery Confederation Congress (CIBJO) presented a blueprint towards more sustainable practices in the laboratory grown diamonds industry.
Consultants Jonathan Key and Helen Mitchell, whose work was coordinated by Wesley Hunt of De Beers, speaking at the CIBJO Congress in Jaipur, India, on October 5, outlined 14 broad principles that would guide companies in the jewellery sector around the world to step up actions towards a more sustainable future.
The principles, divided into green, social responsibility and governance issues, and presented as a detailed circular wheel, included a focus on areas such as taking action on renewable energy, encouraging jewellery companies to take steps such as switching to a renewable energy provider; monitoring energy use; and acquiring energy saving equipment.
The social responsibility principles include areas such as health and safety, and paying fair wages.
“Consider the principles as a checklist as a means to move to sustainable and socially responsible action,” Jonathan Key told the Congress.
Consultant Helen Mitchell said that, having sounded out CIBJO members during the Congress, she had heard comments such as, ‘My company is too small to make a difference.’
She added, “If we do take action (on ESG), we create new norms and others will follow.”
Ms. Mitchell urged jewellery companies to take simple steps, under the principles, such as monitoring water usage.
“Last year I worked with a manufacturing company that saved 20 percent of funds spent on water, by identifying their use of water,” she said.
“I also worked with a company that removed all plastics from packaging.”
Joanna Park-Tonks, who heads the International Grown Diamond Association )IGDA), and Andrey Zharkov, founder of Ultra C, a lab-grown diamond jewellery company and a member of CIBJO’s lab-grown diamond steering committee, said they welcomed the initiative as a means to create a more sustainable future for the lab-grown diamond sector.
“We are all feeling our way,” Park-Tonks told the Congress.
Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, responding to the initiative, said: “This wheel (of principles) is the result of an evolution.
“You have to understand that if you comply with this (principles), you will make more money.
“You need to comply with the business rules, such as transparency.”