Two leading diamond and jewelry industry organizations have signed mutual codes of conduct to advance and strengthen key United Nations’ initiatives on responsible practices and sustainability.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and World Diamond Council (WDC) have entered a cross-membership partnership dedicated to adopting responsible practices across the supply chain to increase knowledge sharing, launch new initiatives and increase their impact on communities associated with diamonds, jewelry and watches and the materials from which they are made.
The partnership will see an RJC official join the WDC Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) task force to promote worldwide adoption of WDC’s revised System of Warranties, expand the definition of conflict diamonds and advance principles for responsible diamond sourcing. The United Nations created the KPCS in 2003 to stop trade in diamonds which funds insurgency. 82 countries are now represented, accounting for over 99% of global production for rough diamonds. The WDC has played a major role since its outset, representing the international diamond industry and keeping the System of Warranties current.
According to WDC Executive Director Elodie Daguzan:
Through this partnership we can do more to increase understanding of the KPCS and present a united industry front dedicated to broadening its scope through the expansion of the definition of conflict diamonds. Cooperation will also fast-track the adoption of WDC’s revised System of Warranties, creating a standard industry baseline for KPCS-compliance and commitment to fundamental human and labor rights, and anti-money laundering and anti-corruption principles.
In return, a WDC official will be appointed to the RJC’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) task force to advance a set of 17 goals toward sustainability for the jewelry and watch industry. These goals were adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, outlining a 15-year plan focused on ending poverty, protecting the planet and improving the lives and prospects of people everywhere. Each year the United Nations releases an SDG report (you can see the 2019 report here).
RJC Chair David Bouffard noted:
We welcome this partnership with WDC. For over 15 years, RJC has taken a leading role on sustainable development and helping increase the integrity of the global jewelry supply chain. We believe in shared values and we are encouraged by the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise in standard-setting with WDC members.
Reporting and Application
Both organizations will report to their memberships on progress with these United Nations initiatives and plan to support diamond, jewelry and watch industry members tp apply these programs and principles. Case studies, workshops and dialogues with policy makers and investors are also planned.