The members of the Natural Diamond Council preserve the biodiversity of the areas where diamonds are recovered.
For every acre of land used, NDC members set aside three for conservation, protecting around 1,000 square miles of land, wildlife and endangered species in Australia, Botswana, Canada, South Africa and Tanzania. The diamond industry is making strong strides in CO2 reduction in order to achieve carbon neutrality, utilizing renewable energy sources such as wind farms and hydro power, as well as pioneering carbon capture technology with kimberlite rock (source of diamonds) naturally absorbing and storing CO2. Leading natural diamond companies recycle on average 84% of water used in diamond recovery and 99% of waste produced is rock. There are no toxic chemical bi-products, because once they are removed from the ground, diamonds are easily extracted from the host rock.
In order to produce synthetic diamonds, manufacturers have to use an incredible amount of electricity in order to recreate Earth’s conditions and generate temperatures between around 1,500 degrees Celsius, or 2,700 Fahrenheit and pressure 1.5 million pounds per square inch. They also need very large amounts of water to cool down the reactors where they produce the lab-grown diamonds. Around 60% of LGDs are manufactured in China and India, countries that rely heavily on coal. There are also production facilities that have managed to use hydropower to replace fossil fuel but that is still a limited option for most of the laboratory-created diamond market.
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De Beers has set twelve ambitious goals to achieve by 2030 including becoming carbon neutral across its operations by reducing, replacing and recovering carbon emissions. They are even exploring the potential for kimberlite—the natural ore that contains diamonds—to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere.
Leading diamond mines are increasingly powered by hydropower and wind farms, such as Canada’s Diavik Diamond Mine, which offsets millions of liters of diesel each year.