May 09, 2024

De Beers Updates Progress on ‘Building Forever’ Sustainability Goals

De Beers has shared advancements towards its ‘Building Forever’ sustainability targets, achieving milestones such as engaging 5,000 women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields ahead of schedule and committing to establish a flagship Diamonds For Development Fund in Botswana. The company also made headway in renewable energy projects and expanded its diamond traceability platform, Tracr.

Established in 2020, ‘Building Forever’ outlines De Beers Group’s commitment to fostering positive and sustainable impacts in the regions where its diamonds are sourced, aligning closely with stakeholder priorities. The initiative focuses on four key areas: ethical practices, community partnerships, environmental protection, and equal opportunity.

Throughout 2023, De Beers strengthened partnerships with government bodies and NGOs to drive sustainable development in local communities. A significant achievement was the agreement with the Government of Botswana to establish a Diamonds for Development Fund, supported by an initial investment of one billion Pula (~$75 million) from De Beers. This fund aims to bolster Botswana’s knowledge-based economy and long-term economic diversification.

Recognising the importance of gender equality in sustaining economic growth, De Beers surpassed its target of engaging 5,000 young women and girls in STEM activities by 2025, two years ahead of schedule. Initiatives like the EntreprenHER programme, supporting women entrepreneurs in southern Africa, also saw continued progress, with a three-year extension approved.

Addressing climate concerns, De Beers advanced renewable energy projects in alignment with its emission reduction targets, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. Collaborations with Envusa Energy and plans for a wind farm in Namibia signify the company’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

Furthermore, De Beers expanded its efforts in diamond traceability through the Tracr platform, registering over two-thirds of its global production and partnering with key industry businesses to enhance transparency.

Al Cook, CEO of De Beers Group, said: “Every stage of a natural diamond’s journey presents an opportunity to create a positive impact. Natural diamonds are a vital source of economic development for many millions of people. Through Building Forever, we’re working to ensure that every diamond we discover benefits the people and place it came from, with a priority focus on supporting community resilience, advancing women and girls and protecting nature.”

He highlighted efforts to reduce carbon footprint, promote renewable energy, and enhance transparency in diamond sourcing.