Every part of the diamond industry – from the mines, through to independent retailers and designer brands – has a role to play in upholding the highest standards that ensure that your diamonds have been brought to you in a responsible way and they have generated a positive impact.
Natural diamonds are part of an extremely well-regulated industry, and NDC members have adopted standards and practices that safeguard ethical and fair working conditions for employees and contractors, protection of the natural environment, and a contribution to the sustainable growth of local communities.
How we achieve this:
In addition to their own important ethical rules and codes, our members adhere to a number of international standards and industry best practices developed and monitored by independent organizations, such as the Responsible Jewellery Council and United Nations Global Compact.
1. The Responsible Jewellery Council
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is the world’s leading standard-setting organization for the jewelry and watch industry.
Members of the RJC, spanning from mine to retail, must be verified and certified against a Code of Practices (COP) that ensures they meet the highest standards in terms of business ethics, human and labor rights, working conditions, health, safety and environmental management. These standards include: ILO Labor Standards, OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Minerals & Metals, UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, UN Global Compact, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda.
The RJC is also accelerating progress towards the United Nations 2030 agenda and their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
2. The Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council
The Kimberley Process (KP) is a United Nations and World Trade Organization-mandated structure that involves governments, industry and civil society. Representing 82 countries, the KP is committed to removing any conflict diamonds from the trade in rough diamonds, and with that from the global jewelry supply chain. It aims to protect individuals and communities, facilitating the conditions necessary for social and economic development.
The KP is responsible for the governance of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which implements safeguards on shipments of rough diamonds, and only those certified “conflict free” are allowed to be traded. Trade in rough diamonds can only take place between countries that are KP members, and international shipments must be in tamper-proof containers accompanied by a KP certificate, issued by an authorized KP authority. The KPCS has been credited in reducing conflict diamonds to less than 1% of the world’s diamond production today.
As the body that represents the international diamond industry in the KP, the World Diamond Council (WDC) created the System of Warranties (SoW). Through this system, the buyers and sellers of diamonds commit to adhering to universally accepted principles of human and labour rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering (AML).
Read more about the framework for an ethical and
sustainable diamond industry here.
All Natural Diamond Council members must comply with relevant international and national environmental legislation. Our members develop environmental management, monitoring and protection plans in collaboration with local communities, as well as local and national governments, through rigorous multi-stakeholder engagement processes that begin well over a decade before mines go in to production and continues throughout the life of the mine.
Every year, NDC members publicly report on their sustainability programs, initiatives and commitments. All reports are audited by 3rd-party-certified organizations to ensure clear transparency and accountability.