The Rosy Blue sustainability blog

Talking to Mr Dilip Mehta, Member of the Rosy Blue Brand Council ‘Sustainability for us lies in the principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing the needs and challenges of the communities we operate in.’


What does sustainability mean for the Rosy Blue business alliance?

The diamond business has and will continue to be an industry based on relationships. The sustainability of our company is based on the continued relationships with our employees, our suppliers and customers. We strive to develop and empower our people to be able to establish these enduring relationships.

Sustainability for us lies in the principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing the needs and challenges of the communities we operate in. We need to balance the creation of reserved resources for future generations and the shared benefit to society.

A diamond is a natural product and a gift of nature. It is not a commodity like oil or gas that fulfills basic needs in society. The journey that every diamond takes began some 3.3 billion years ago when, more than 400km below the earth’s crust, a furnace of intense heat and pressure crystallized carbon atoms into diamonds. Over billions of years, the diamonds worked their way to the surface.

From ancient India to the other side of the world and across all generations, diamonds have become part of a cultural heritage embracing love and emotion. Globally, women including American, European, Japanese, and, increasingly, Chinese women expect the ‘traditional’ gift of a diamond engagement ring as a ‘must have’.

Given the eternal value of a diamond (‘A diamond is forever’) it passes from generation to generation. The current diamond resources will not last beyond the next 25 years. However new sourcing will allow the new generations to be part of this wonderful gift of nature. What is important for all the players within our supply chain from mining to retail is to create shared value to society.

With the global population reaching 7 billion (with the fastest growth in Asia and Africa), just 13 years after passing the 6 billion mile stone, we are all triggered and concerned over the availability of natural resources and efforts to achieve the millennium development goals related to health, poverty and education. We need to continue to rethink our business model. So when I speak about creating shared value, I do not mean the redistribution approach. It is about expanding the total pool of economic and social value, creating an inclusive model that includes all the players wherever they are.

What broader/macro trends in the world and specifically in the diamond industry are affecting Rosy Blue, and how do these influence our sustainability priorities?

The financial upheaval of 2008 and our recent European crisis sends nerve wracking signals to the financial institutions that are key partners to the success of our business. That said, in the diluting values of currencies, diamonds offer an everlasting store of value in addition to evoking emotion and being a symbol of love.

I do believe the next two years will continue to be challenging. We need to act and look after the welfare of the people working in our industry with a particular focus on Africa and Asia. Initiatives like the Diamond Empowerment Fund are close to my heart as they focus on what is important: helping young people achieve success and become the future entrepreneurs. I strongly believe education is one of the most critical elements that powers society and empowers individuals to realise their full human potential. It starts with respecting children’s rights. Our commitment to the Children’s Rights Principles of the United Nations Global Compact also reflects this vision.

What is our final destination in this sustainability roadmap?

It is not about a final destination. The world is changing continuously and we in business must adapt to new market dynamics (financial, commercial, environmental). Reaching sustainable growth for our industry is a perpetual exercise. We will continue to find answers to the new questions. Nothing is written in stone. With the support of all our stakeholders, our partnerships with communities, governments, and the hard work and dedication of our talented people, we will continue to deliver upon the promise which is at the heart of sustainability — meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ambition of the future generations.