De Beers' Commitment to Nature
Known as the home of the diamonds since 1888, De Beers Jewelers prides itself on being one of the world’s finest diamond designers. Now, in addition to creating gorgeous jewelry, De Beers has new goals to become more sustainable in an effort to protect the natural world. The latest De Beers vision is to become carbon neutral, minimize their water footprint, and deliver a net positive impact on biodiversity. By focusing on these three key areas, De Beers strives to keep communities healthy and thriving.
In response to climate change, De Beers has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. This goal will be reached by using a three-pronged approach: reducing energy intensity by implementing FutureSmart Mining™; replacing fossil fuels with green energy alternatives to power their trucks and vessels; and recovering all remaining carbon emissions through nature-based technical solutions such as their Carbon Vault™ project, which captures carbon from the atmosphere and traps it in kimberlite rock.
When it comes to water use, De Beers has pledged that by 2030, they will reduce their water footprint by 50%. What does this mean? A water footprint is the measure of how much freshwater is used in the production or supply of goods. In 2021, De Beers committed to decreasing their freshwater withdrawal by 20%, and exceeded this goal by 14%. They also met their goal of increasing their water recycling by 75%. In 2022, they established their Group-wide Integrated Water Management Plan by implementing their FutureSmart Mining™ program.
What is FutureSmart Mining™, you ask? Aiming to ultimately change the way we mine, this newly developed program from AngloAmerican is an innovation-led approach to sustainable mining to drive safer, efficient, and precise mining practices. Technology, digitalization, and sustainability are the three main elements of innovation when it comes to FutureSmart Mining™. The water-less mine plays a major part in the combination of these three elements. New ways of separating the ore from waste rock and preventing evaporation are being developed in order to remove the need to withdraw fresh water from the mining process. As these developments continue to progress, De Beers aims to reduce its water footprint by 50% in the next seven years, increasing community access to water and sanitation. You can read more about the company’s progress in reaching their goals here.
Finally, by 2030, De Beers has committed to having a net positive impact on biodiversity. Biodiversity refers to the huge variety of life forms on earth. In 2021, the company pledged to deliver biodiversity assessments with a focus on mitigating environmental impact and protecting keystone species at each operation alongside global partner Fauna & Flora International. In addition to their continual commitment to undertaking active conservation management across their 500,000 acres of protected land in southern Africa, De Beers will also continue to partner with research institutions on supporting the development of young conservation leaders. You can read more about why protecting the natural world is a priority of De Beers here.
Because diamonds come from within the earth, the state of the environment cannot be ignored when it comes to the work of fine jewelry designers and professionals. With the consumption of natural beauty comes the responsibility of preserving it for future generations, and De Beers is one of the leaders in the jewelry world taking steps to hold themselves accountable for their role in transforming and conserving the world for decades to come.