The diamond trade is a global and geographically expansive business that touches upon various issues and interests, among which sustainability ranks highly. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), as the representative of the diamond sector in the world’s largest diamond hub, takes its responsibilities in this domain seriously.
With 84% of rough diamonds and about 50% of the world’s polished diamonds passing through this wholesale centre, internal and external expectations of the AWDC are high. Our role is to answer to the needs of the Belgium diamond sector, both at home and abroad, while adhering to strict principles of good business practices.
Promoting a sustainable and transparent diamond sector is one of AWDC’s key strategic priorities. We are of the opinion that a healthy diamond industry entails taking responsibility for itself and its broader effects.
Antwerp’s diamond sector is known for its 5th C. In addition to the classic 4 Cs, which determine the value of a diamond - carat, colour, cut and clarity - our 5th C is the commitment to Compliance, Confidence and CSR. This is the core of our business model and a strong focus in our medium and long-term strategy, not only for the Antwerp diamond sector but also for the global diamond industry. For this reason, AWDC embarked on its first sustainability report, to evaluate the accomplishments of 2013 and previous years and to determine where progress needs to be made.
We believe that the business model of the future must have sustainability at its core. It is our intention to demonstrate that sustainability and growth are not mutually exclusive. So in the last few years, sustainability has become a priority.
Extensive dialogue with stakeholders ranks high on AWDC’s agenda and was an integral part in producing this report. We took active steps to involve our employees, diamond companies in the sector, NGOs and the broader community in Antwerp. The consulted stakeholders ranked the following issues as the top five, on which AWDC should focus its activities and report back, on to affected stakeholders: responsibility and integrity in the diamond supply chain; transparency; compliance; indirect economic impact in Antwerp; indirect economic impact in diamond producing countries. These topics therefore form the basis of our sustainability report.
The goal of this report is to illustrate in a transparent manner how we drive sustainability in our business as well as across all tiers in the diamond value chain. Our external stakeholders expect AWDC’s contribution and leadership. Internally, sustainability and communication surrounding this topic have risen on AWDC’s agenda. We invite you to take a look at the challenges the AWDC and the diamond industry are facing and how we are tackling them, keeping in mind that there are still improvements to be made.
As this report is the first of its kind for AWDC, we do not have many references against which we can measure our success and progress. An open dialogue with you, our stakeholders, will be key to succeed in this process ahead. With your input, AWDC will soon draft a roadmap setting out clear goals, creating benchmarks for the years to come.
We look forward to receiving your feedback,
Stephane Fischler Ari Epstein
AWDC President AWDC CEO