The NDC hosted an evening discussion

Jul 11, 2023

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) hosted an evening discussion on the environmental and social impact across the diamond industry during Paris Couture week, joined by NDC Global Ambassador and actress Lily James, and Eco-Age Founder Livia Firth MBE.

An open conversation was held, sharing each panellists’ journey with the diamond industry and what they hope to see and continue to create from areas within the diamond supply chain, from women empowerment to supporting local and indigenous communities to carbon neutral goals and biodiversity protection.

Titled, Diamond Transformation, the panel featured an open dialogue and Q&A section that revealed insights and industry updates from major jewelry companies and luxury conglomerates such as Messika and Kering, while also hearing directly from Lily James who has traveled to Botswana to experience the diamond industry firsthand.

The NDC brought together notable industry leaders and members of the Botswana community to participate including André Messika, Chairman of Andre Messika Diamonds LTD, Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Institutional Affairs at Kering, Kesego Kereemang, Safety, Health and Corporate Responsibility Manager at Lucara Botswana, and Iris Van Der Veken, Executive Director at Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030. Notable guests included Ana Khouri, Lola Rykiel and executives from LVMH and major luxury houses.

Transparent and honest efforts were discussed in terms of how these luxury businesses, and the larger diamond industry, are contributing to the transformation and evolution of the natural diamond industry. Conversations emphasized how the natural diamond industry supports the livelihood of 10 million people across the world, in the form of local purchasing, employment benefits, social programs, investment in infrastructure and more.

Lily James’s direct experiences from her travels were also shared, revealing how one of the best ways to understand the impact of any industry is to listen to those on the ground floor of the operations themselves.

“I feel a huge social responsibility. I have a platform, so I have access to people–particularly young people–who will listen. I want to share my journey of discovery with them. Visiting Botswana and seeing the impact the diamond industry has on the community was so inspiring. It’s a story I want to continue to share,” Lily James said.

Kesego Kereemang, who traveled from Botswana to Paris to share her firsthand perspective on the impact of diamond mining, says the country has seen significant social progress due to the diamond industry. “Botswana has access to free healthcare and education thanks to natural diamond mining,” she said.

Livia Firth noted that other industries could learn from the environmental and social impact of natural diamonds. “We have an opportunity here–this is an example for any other business sector to look at,” she said.

The conversation and evening ended with reflections on how perhaps a new vision could be created from an ever-changing industry, and how the natural diamond industry is to be protected with vigilance and integrity.

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