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Diamond pipeline integrity

The Best Practice Principles (BPPs) are a set of professional and ethical standards, developed by De Beers Group to promote the highest levels of business conduct across the diamond pipeline. They help to prevent unacceptable business, environmental and social practices.

Around 345,000 people in the diamond industry, from Sightholders and Accredited Buyers to contractors engaged in diamond-related activities such as cutting, polishing and jewellery manufacture, are now covered by the Principles – including all De Beers Group employees.

The BPPs are a mandatory requirement for doing business with De Beers Group and require compliance with law in all areas, as well as further requirements on anti-corruption and anti-money laundering, health and safety, labour standards and the environment. Compliance is checked each year by a reputable third-party verifier, Société Générale de Surveillance.

They are updated regularly in response to emerging risks. The most significant change in 2016 was the introduction of the Melee Assurance Protocol, which addresses the risks of synthetic diamonds being incorporated within melee diamonds (those below around 0.1 carats in weight).

Led by De Beers Group, this latest advance marks a step-change in maintaining diamond integrity at the lowest value but highest volume end of the diamond range.

Any De Beers Group Sightholder or Accredited Buyer manufacturing diamonds of this weight now has to adhere to the Protocol – and, for the first time, this requirement also covers our smaller contractors.

The Protocol requires them to: implement security procedures preventing the theft and substitution of diamonds; provide offsite contractors with tamper-evident packaging for returning all melee diamonds; and give evidence of full testing at a reputable laboratory.

 

2014

2015

2016

Sightholder ‘business’ infringements

21

24

35

Sightholders ‘social’ infringements

83

143

132

Sightholder ‘environment’ infringements

7

6

8

Total number of Sightholder infringements

111

173

175

Number of Sightholder major infringements

9

20

33


Single or multiple findings can be raised per BPP requirement, per site, which translate into a single infringement against the relevant BPP requirement