Natural Diamond Council Panel

Paris, July 3, 2023 – Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 was honoured to be invited to the Natural Diamond Association’s Panel on Diamond Transformation, where WJI 2030 Executive Director and Secretary General, Iris Van der Veken, joined renowned industry experts: Livia Firth, Marie-Claire Daveu, Kesego Kereemang, and Andre Messika, to discuss the state of the diamond industry. Valuable insights gleaned from miners to retailers, sharing their practical experiences and emphasizing the importance of responsible business practices and sustainability.

During the discussion, the pivotal role of mining houses in driving responsible practices was acknowledged. In the early 2000s, mining houses initiated proprietary initiatives to integrate solid management practices into the supply chain. One such groundbreaking program was the BPP (Best Practice Principles) introduced by De Beers Group Auctions, led by Al Cook. This initiative played a transformative role in the industry by educating stakeholders and fostering responsible business practices. The leadership of Feriel Zerouki was also commended for her instrumental role in bringing responsible business practices to the supply chain. Another milestone highlighted was the establishment of the Responsible Jewellery Council in 2005, aimed at setting industry-wide standards.

The conversation further underscored the need for accelerated action on climate change, biodiversity, and inclusiveness. Transparency was emphasized as crucial in navigating the evolving stakeholder and regulatory landscape. It was acknowledged that there is still work to be done, necessitating different forms of collaboration.

A notable case study on inclusion presented by Andre Messika showcased the transformative power of purpose-driven CEO leadership. Messika’s commendable work on climate action with Sarine technology was applauded. Marie-Claire Daveu stressed the significance of traceability as a priority on the sustainability agenda. She shared insights and positive impacts from The Fashion Pact’s work on biodiversity and climate. Reference was made to Paul Polman’s leadership and his article on the importance of embracing purpose and diversity in transforming global supply chains.

Kesego Kereemang’s inspiring account of how diamonds transformed lives and communities in Botswana resonated deeply. Long-term partnerships that prioritize lifelong learning and skill diversification programs after mine closures were identified as critical for long-term sustainability. The conversation concluded with congratulations extended to Lily James, an exceptional ambassador who shared her firsthand perspective on the positive nation-building efforts witnessed during her visit to Botswana. These efforts encompassed access to education, infrastructure development, improved health services, and most importantly, positively changing people’s lives.

Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 is committed to driving positive change within the industry, fostering collaboration, and pursuing sustainability as key pillars of its mission.

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About the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030

Driven by a common conviction that the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspirations for a sustainable industry can only be achieved through collaborative efforts, the Watch and Jewellery Initiative 2030 has been launched by Cartier and Kering.

The Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030, Member of the Global Compact and signatory of the Women Empowerment Principles is a global initiative open to all Watch and Jewellery players with a national or international footprint committed to a common core of key sustainability goals in three areas: building climate resilience, preserving resources, and fostering inclusiveness.

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