Pandora to ditch mined diamonds over sustainability concerns

The world's largest jewellery brand, Pandora, has announced plans to stop sourcing mined diamonds and to switch to only lab-grown alternatives.

Image: Pandora

Image: Pandora

According to the business, the move will help drive progress towards its 2025 goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company. Pandora has already outlined measures to switch to exclusively recycled silver and gold to help reduce material-related emissions.

Using labs instead of mines will also help Pandora to avoid some of the human rights issues associated with traditional diamond supply chains, including community displacement and forced labour.

Pandora is launching ‘Pandora Brilliance’ – a range of products incorporating the lab-grown diamonds – in the UK market this week. A global rollout will then be completed by 2022 and, from that point, the business will work to transition its whole portfolio. Pandora notably sells in more than 100 countries.

At present, the processes used in the diamond labs is powered by 60% renewable energy, with the emissions associated with the remaining 40%, as well as transport and packaging, offset to achieve CarbonNeutral Protocol certification. Pandora is targeting 100% renewable energy for labs by 2022.

Pandora’s chief executive Alexander Lacik said the new diamonds are “as much a symbol of innovation and progress as they are of enduring beauty and stand as a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda”.

Carbon neutrality journey

Pandora’s sustainability agenda is, of course, headlined by the 2025 target for carbon neutrality. This aim covers operations only; the firm is in the process of developing science-based targets that will cover the entire value chain.

Materials account for a large proportion of the brand’s emissions footprint and, as such, are a key focus area. Pandora claims that recycled silver produces 66% less life-cycle emissions than virgin, with the reduction standing at up to 99% for gold.

Producing diamonds in labs can reduce the transport associated with the supply chain and ensure that Pandora knows the footprint of the energy used. Traditional diamond supply chains can be complex, making it challenging for end-user firms to accurately track things like emissions at each stage.

Sarah George



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