New York: Signet Jewelers Limited has launched an initiative to commit to improvement and increased transparency in the integrity of the global diamond supply chain.
The Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds (D-SRSP) is a collaborative effort, having gathered expert opinions from within the diamond industry, civil society and governments. These included the De Beers Group, Rio Tinto, Dominion Diamond Corporation, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the United States Jewelry Council, International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), Partnership Africa Canada, the Diamond Development Initiative, Jewelers of America, officials from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), governments and Signet diamond suppliers from around the world.
The protocol requires suppliers to undertake due diligence when sourcing diamonds they deliver to Signet. The company hopes that the D-SRSP will become an industry accepted standard – and encouraged its use across different sectors and supply chains.
Signet CEO Mark Light said that today’s consumers were increasingly aware of the source of raw materials and the conditions under which they are obtained. He urged that corporate social responsibility was a way to show increased integrity across the supply chain and that implementing the D-SRSP would boost transparency.
“The D-SRSP builds on existing diamond industry standards, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains to ensure transparency through a collaborative process that is practical and workable,” he said.
“We have been active in the development of harmonized industry guidance and standards for many years and with the new Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds, we are asking our suppliers to carefully map their supply chains more rigorously than ever before.”
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced its support for Signet Jewelers Ltd.’s Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds (D-SRSP).
“We believe this is an extremely important development and we are pleased to have been involved in developing the protocol,” commented WFDB President Ernie Blom.
“The initiative has extremely strong foundations, being based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains. We believe it is an excellent example of the industry working together to create an unimpeachable standard of cooperation that puts to bed any claims that the proceeds from diamond sales are being used for illicit purposes and will have a positive impact for WFDB members. The industry knows it must take steps to assure consumers that it has nothing to do with any human rights issues or illegal labour practices in diamond-mining states. It also fits in perfectly with the themes of the World Diamond Congress to be held in Dubai in May of transparency, responsibility and sustainability and it will be on our agenda.”
“The global diamond sector has proven over the past decade or so, since the establishment of the Kimberley Process, that it is among the best self-regulated businesses in the world. It invests a great deal of time, effort and income in ensuring that diamonds are mined responsibly and sustainably with a fair income for workers and that the supply chain is transparent. We believe the Signet protocol will take this to an even higher global level and support it wholeheartedly,” Blom added.