Press release – Building Forever 2021 sustainability report shows strong progress following first full year since announcing the 12 goals.
De Beers Group has reported on the strong progress made in 2021 towards the achievement of its 2030 ‘Building Forever’ sustainability goals in its latest sustainability report, published today [Mai 31].
In the first full year since announcing the 12 goals, De Beers made meaningful progress in each of its priority focus areas – leading ethical practices, protecting the natural world, partnering for thriving communities and accelerating equal opportunity – despite ongoing challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, which continued to impact the company’s operating environment in 2021.
Key highlights during 2021 included:
Leading ethical practices
- Increased capacity of De Beers Group’s innovative diamond traceability blockchain platform, TracrTM, which now has the ability to register up to one million diamonds per week
- Launched the pilot of De Beers Code of Origin, a consumer-facing trusted source programme
- Brought the first dedicated GemFairTMparcels of ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale (ASM) mined diamonds to market (GemFair is De Beers Group’s initiative to support the formalisation of the ASM sector)
- Implemented a land reclamation programme in Sierra Leone to bring old artisanal mine sites back to productive farming use, supporting livelihoods and food security for local communities.
Protecting the natural world
- Reduced energy intensity by 11 per cent as De Beers strives to be carbon neutral across its operations by 2030
- Continued to progress a project to build a 60MW solar farm at Venetia mine in South Africa
- Launched Okavango Eternal – a five-year partnership with National Geographic to help protect the critical source waters of the Okavango Delta in southern Africa
- Continued to actively manage biodiversity and protect threatened species across approximately 500,000 hectares of protected land in southern Africa (the Diamond Route)
- Completed a strategy for addressing Scope 3 emissions in De Beers Group’s global supply chain.
Partnering for thriving communities
- Supported more than 2,600 jobs through enterprise development initiatives in southern Africa and supported more than 18,000 students at 25 schools in South Africa
- Commenced delivery of the partnership with National Geographic, which includes commitments to support the development of livelihood opportunities for 10,000 people across Africa’s Okavango Basin and help ensure water and food security for more than one million people
- Pledged $6.8 million to support vaccine procurement and roll-out in De Beers Group’s host countries, including establishing vaccination clinics at the company’s operations for employees and community members
- Invested $35 million on social investment initiatives.
Accelerating equal opportunity
- Announced an additional $3 million investment to extend the AWOME programme in southern Africa, which is focused on supporting women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses – more than 1,800 entrepreneurs have been supported to date
- Engaged 1,500 girls in STEM in southern Africa in partnership with WomEng and provided 21 scholarships to women studying STEM at university in Canada, in partnership with UN Women and Scholarships Canada
- Awarded 12 young jewellery designers in De Beers Group’s host countries training opportunities through the company’s Shining Light Awards competition
- Launched the #BlackIsBrilliant campaign in partnership with RAD Red Carpet Advocacy, bringing together Black jewellery designers with top celebrity stylists.
Beyond its Building Forever sustainability commitments, De Beers Group continued to make a vital contribution to its host countries and communities through tax and royalty payments, employment and local procurement, which totalled $4.7 billion in 2021. In addition, 80 per cent of the revenue generated by the company’s operations remained within host countries.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “As the first full year since announcing our ambitious 2030 sustainability goals, 2021 was a pivotal year for our business. We embedded the goals into our operational and commercial frameworks, established critical foundations and partnerships, engaged with stakeholders and took tangible steps forward, all while continuing to operate against a backdrop of Covid-19. Our Building Forever sustainability goals underpin our commitment to create a better future for people and the planet and we will continue to build on our strong momentum throughout 2022 and beyond.”
The full report, titled Building Forever: Our 2021 Sustainability Report, includes a detailed overview of progress, including relating to each goal, and is available to download here.