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Nine Sightholders Aim for Carbon Neutrality

Jul 29, 2020 4:41 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Nine De Beers sightholders have committed to becoming carbon-neutral, aiming to align the manufacturing sector with environmental standards present elsewhere in the diamond industry.

The participants will begin by assessing their current emissions, and will then develop a plan to reduce them in a sustainable way. They expressed their intentions in a virtual meeting Monday held by De Beers brokerage and diamond consultancy Gemdax, which is organizing the project. De Beers executives also spoke at the online event.

The companies aren’t making firm commitments to achieve zero net emissions by a particular date because of the uncertainty around Covid-19, pointed out Anish Aggarwal, a partner and cofounder of Gemdax. However, bringing the midstream into a program aimed at sustainability is vital given consumers’ growing interest in the values behind products, he said.

“Without [the midstream], we can’t complete the picture and give the consumer what they increasingly want, which is a sustainable diamond from the mine to their finger,” Aggarwal said.

The natural-diamond trade’s environmental credentials have come under the spotlight in recent years, partly because many lab-grown producers have marketed their products as a green alternative. While large mining companies and retailers have emissions targets in place, diamond manufacturers have made less progress, despite using hefty amounts of energy. Polished production typically emits carbon through electricity use, transport and distribution, Aggarwal explained.

Canada-headquartered manufacturer HRA Group is the only natural-diamond manufacturer known to be carbon-neutral. Earlier this year, Star Rays unveiled plans to be the first Indian diamond company to achieve that status.

The new program, “Sustainably Brilliant,” includes Star Rays, as well as three other Mumbai-based sightholders: HVK International, Hari Darshan Exports and H Dipak and Co. Other participants are D Navinchandra Gems, Dianco and Diamant Impex, all in Antwerp, and Dubai-headquartered Diarush and Yaelstar. All nine companies are clients of Gemdax.

“This dovetails on De Beers’ strides in carbon neutrality and on the work some of the retailers and luxury brands are doing,” Aggarwal told Rapaport News Monday. “The midstream is often the missing link that is needed for the complete supply chain to be socially and environmentally responsible.”

Image: A sightholder inspecting rough diamonds. (De Beers)
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Tags: Anish Aggarwal, Antwerp, D Navinchandra Gems, De Beers, Diamant Impex, Dianco, Diarush, Dubai, Gemdax, H Dipak and Co., Hari Darshan Exports, HVK International, mumbai, Rapaport News, Sightholders, Star Rays, Sustainably Brilliant, Yaelstar
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