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De Beers Group Reports Progress on ‘Building Forever’ Sustainability Goals

De Beers Group has reported significant advancements towards its ‘Building Forever’ sustainability goals. Notable achievements include reaching their target of engaging 5,000 women and girls in STEM two years ahead of schedule, establishing the Diamonds for Development Fund in Botswana, advancing renewable energy projects to meet science-based emission reduction targets, and expanding the Tracr diamond traceability platform.

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Launched in 2020, ‘Building Forever’ is De Beers’ commitment to creating a positive and sustainable impact in the regions where its diamonds are mined. The initiative focuses on four main areas: leading ethical practices, supporting thriving communities, protecting the natural world, and promoting equal opportunities.

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Key Achievements in 2023

Diamonds for Development Fund: In collaboration with the Government of Botswana, De Beers has committed one billion Pula (~US$75 million) to this fund as part of a new 10-year sales agreement. The fund aims to support Botswana’s emerging knowledge-based economy and accelerate economic diversification.

Advancing Women and Girls: De Beers exceeded its goal of engaging 5,000 women and girls in STEM by 2025, achieving this milestone two years early through workshops, fellowships, scholarships, and mentoring. Additionally, the EntreprenHER programme, which supports women entrepreneurs in southern Africa, has helped 2,645 women since its inception in 2018 and will continue for another three years.

Renewable Energy Projects: De Beers made strides in its renewable energy initiatives, aligning with its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Projects include developing renewable energy infrastructure to provide 48 MW of power to the Venetia mine in South Africa by 2025 and planning a 34 MW wind farm in Namibia. De Beers also held its first Scope 3 supplier summit to mandate carbon reporting and secure commitments for GHG reduction.

Diamond Provenance and Traceability: The Tracr blockchain platform, which tracks a diamond’s journey from source to store, saw significant growth in 2023. Over two-thirds of De Beers’ global production by value is now registered on Tracr, with 1.5 million individual diamonds added last year, totaling two million diamonds. The platform was also opened to the wider industry, attracting numerous key industry participants.

Statements from Leadership

Al Cook, CEO of De Beers Group, emphasized the company’s dedication to creating a positive impact at every stage of a diamond’s journey. “Natural diamonds are a vital source of economic development for many millions of people,” Cook said. “Through Building Forever, we’re working to ensure that every diamond we discover benefits the people and places it comes from, with a focus on community resilience, advancing women and girls, and protecting nature.”

Cook also highlighted De Beers’ ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance diamond transparency and traceability. “Our leadership in diamond transparency and traceability continued throughout 2023, supported by leading technologies, so that we can increasingly connect consumers with the provenance of their natural diamond and all the benefits it has delivered along its journey.”

De Beers Group’s ongoing commitment to sustainable development is reflected in its collaborations with governments and NGOs, as well as its emphasis on responsible sourcing and manufacturing processes, ensuring the highest standards of integrity and social responsibility.

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