Submitted by SCS Global Services
Representatives of the global diamond industry, together with other stakeholders interested in advancing environmentally and socially responsible diamond production and market claims, met this week in a lively and productive exchange about a pair of groundbreaking new sustainability certification standards.
The two-day meeting, hosted by SCS Standards and SCS Global Services, centered around the imminent launch of a pioneering standard development process aimed at certifying gemstone quality diamonds against stringent standards of sustainability, and a formal call for stakeholders to join the new Standard Development Committee. The standards will be the basis for third-party certification of both mined and lab grown diamonds, and will provide strict traceability requirements and a code of conduct for downstream industry participants.
“Our intention is to incentivize the production of the lowest impact diamonds in history, and recognize those industry members who are at the forefront of this effort,” said Stanley Rhodes, Ph.D., CEO of Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).
The working draft of the Certification Standard for Sustainably Produced Diamonds extends well beyond social, environmental and governance criteria in several important ways:
It integrates the latest testing technologies, including the testing of each diamond, to provide highly credible chain-of-custody assurances for diamonds from the point of origin to the consumer, and simultaneously reinforce “conflict free” claims.
It introduces a performance-oriented “Sustainability Rating” based on life cycle assessment (LCA), by which producers will be able to demonstrate across-the-board success in lowering impacts well beyond the industry average, moving toward net zero impacts.
It establishes a climate neutral benchmark for diamond producers, in concert with newly emerging international climate accounting protocols, including an accounting for all climate pollutants as well as methods for more effective measurement of efforts to reduce global warming.
“This is an extremely complex industry,” said Stanley Mathuram, Vice President of Corporate Sales at SCS Global Services. “Judging by the sophisticated nature of the discussions held over the past few days, and the clear dedication of the cross-section of stakeholders who were present, I fully anticipate that this standard development process will yield a final certification standard that is beneficial to all interested parties.”
As spelled out in the draft standard, a portion of certification fees and technical support will also be steered toward artisanal and small-scale diamond producers and communities, and the standard will ultimately be expanded to include this important sector.
Linda Brown, representing SCS Standards, issued a request for stakeholders to step up and join the Standard Development Committee. “This is a consensus process,” she elaborated. “We are looking forward to participation from producers, industry participants in the chain of custody from cutters and polishers to retailers, testing technology representatives, civil society representatives, and other experts.” The formal launch of the process is scheduled to take place next month.
Stakeholders interested in applying to participate on the Standard Development Committee are invited to download an application form by visiting http://scsstandardsdevelopment.org/. Working Draft 1 of the standard is also available on the site for download.
About SCS Standards
SCS Standards is a leader in the field of sustainability, with extensive expertise in a wide range of industry sectors, including natural resource extraction, green building, food and agriculture, consumer products, and energy. Standards are developed in alignment with best practices and guidelines provided by internationally recognized bodies to ensure a robust, transparent and collaborative approach. SCS Standards is the official standards development body for Scientific Certification System, Inc., a chartered benefit corporation. For more information, visit SCSstandardsdevelopment.org.
About SCS Global Services
SCS is a trusted leader in third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification, auditing, and testing. It works worldwide to advance the goals of sustainable development and give innovators a competitive advantage. Its certification services and sustainability solutions span the natural resources, green building, energy, agricultural, and consumer products sectors, enabling policy makers, purchasers, company decision-makers and consumers to make informed decisions based on the highest level of environmental, ethical and quality accountability. SCS stands for Scientific Certification Systems, Inc., a chartered benefit corporation. For more information, visit our website at www.scsglobalservices.com and follow us on Twitter at @SCScertified.
SCS is a leading third-party provider of certification, auditing and testing services, and standards, founded in 1984. Our goal is to recognize the highest levels of performance in food safety and quality, environmental protection and social responsibility in the private and public sectors, and to stimulate continuous improvement in sustainable development.
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