De Beers is committed to creating a positive long-term legacy that will endure well beyond the recovery of its last diamond. This commitment is called Building Forever, and it contains four pillars: standing with women and girls, protecting our natural world, partnering for thriving communities and leading an ethical industry.
Protecting the Natural World
We are committed not just to minimising our footprint, but to ensuring that, overall, we have a positive impact on nature to protect it for generations to come, by preserving biodiversity and water, and by taking bold and innovative steps to address climate change and its effects. Examples of the initiatives include the following.
For every hectare of land impacted by mining activities, six hectares are set aside for conservation, which equates to approximately 200,000 hectares.
De Beers Group works with leading conservation partners to maximise the success of its programmes. There has been high success in supporting a range of species in our conservation areas, including rhinos, elephants, cheetahs and giraffes. There are now so many elephants at De Beers Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in South Africa, that De Beers worked with Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), investing US $1.8million in the longest elephant relocation ever attempted, moving approximately 200 elephants 1,700km to a new home in Zinave National Park in Mozambique.
The Group is investing in a ground-breaking carbon-capture project that is investigating how to accelerate the natural carbon-storage capability of kimberlite, the host rock in which diamonds are found. Eventually, this could lead to the ability of these rocks to extract ten times more carbon from the air than each mine produces annually.
Partnering for Thriving Communities
The Group’s vision is to be a catalyst for a step change in the skills, health and livelihoods of the local communities in host countries. To that end, we ensure local citizens form the majority of the workforce in our producer countries. In Botswana, for example, over 98 per cent of our workforce are from local communities.
De Beers is committed to encouraging entrepreneurs and helping to diversify economies through our enterprise development programmes - including Tokafala in Botswana and Zimele in South Africa. So far, we have supported nearly 700 enterprises and 7,500 individuals over the two programmes in this aim.
Improving access to quality education is another one of the top priorities as is investing in programmes that target crucial health challenges.
Standing with Women and Girls
De Beers’ vision is a workforce with equal gender representation and equal access to opportunity for women and girls in host communities. This encourages financial resilience, supports technical and leadership skills and challenges gender stereotypes.
We are proud to have partnered with UN Women since 2017, pledging US $3million over three years. Since then, more than 700 women small-scale micro-entrepreneurs across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa have been supported. Encouraging greater representation of women in STEM, De Beers sponsored 28 scholarships for female students at university and 20 high school girls from indigenous communities around its mines in Canada, and more than 750 girls in Southern Africa. Striving to challenge stereotypes, De Beers Jewellers has been creating diverse, inclusive and more meaningful marketing campaigns, while adopting only minimal model retouching as part of a deliberate effort to redefine natural beauty.
Leading Ethical Practices across the Industry
At De Beers we use our leadership to build trust and influence positive change across the value chain, in their operations and beyond.
Through the Best Practice Principles, De Beers have set leading ethical, social and environmental standards, including requirements on human rights and labour conditions, not just for themselves but for the whole value chain, which employs over 350,000 people across the industry.
You can learn more about De Beers Group’s ongoing Building Forever initiatives here.