There are several reasons that provide valid answers to the above question, but below are the ones that underline the agenda behind this new reality:
(1) Businesses are continuously being pressured to provide more transparency on their operations and on the sustainability thereof
(2) The result of a coordinated effort between governments and industry bodies, as a result of industry pressure from NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
I would like us to focus on the latter, as this is the one that applies pressure and as a result can cause reputational damage (directly or indirectly) to any company in the diamond pipeline.
The 90’s have been blighted with never abating accusations that the diamond industry is dirty, a financier of conflict or in more popular media terms creators of “blood diamonds”.
Today, after many noticeable industry efforts and regulatory frameworks evolution is visible, however we turn to a new norm/trend, i.e. transparency and sustainability.
From governments to mining companies and retailers everybody is applying its own set of business codes on their respective clients and or suppliers.
De Beers Sightholders need to adhere to a rigorous set of business principles known as Best Practice Principles, whilst the entire industry is being pushed towards RJC certification, reflected through the record RJC membership certifications of the last 2 years (50+ new certifications!)
By having a more coordinated effort in terms of ethics, a higher level of transparency will occur and more importantly the sustainability of the entire diamond pipeline will be ensured.
Sustainability. A fashion? A rule?
Let us say that sustainability is slowly but surely becoming the new rule of business and therefore in fashion.
Sustainability is the impact of a business operation on a social – economic and environmental level, thus creating a lasting business environment (or not). In other words what has your business done on those three fronts in the countries in which it operates?
The word sustainability frequently traces back to the United Nations framework and its 17 sustainable development goals. Every single goal tackles a different world issue that businesses can contribute and measure against.
No rules state the minimum size of a business in order to address the issues of transparency and sustainability. Every business has its own DNA and business model and can therefore approach the matter of sustainability in proportion to its own business scale.
When taking a pro-active approach towards the issue of sustainability and transparency one will not only benefit from and indirect and commercial point of view, but more importantly contribute to the safeguarding of the diamond industry.
Some facts for you:
- The mining sector is known as one of the worst performers in sustainability and transparency
- RJC has become largest industry accreditation on business ethics and principles
- Europe is the leader in sustainability measures, whilst North America requires the most
- Governments are taking a much more proactive stance in measuring the sustainability efforts of the enterprises operating in their respective countries (source. WorldBank).
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