The diamond industry has a bad reputation. At HB, we have made it our mission to change this by creating a business model with fairness and honesty at its core, creating a positive impact on people and the planet.
Traditionally, diamond makers rely on complex global supply chains that make it very difficult to truly know a diamond’s provenance and the extent of its journey – whether it involved exploitive labor, abuse of human rights, or environmental damage.
Origin is prized in art, fashion, food, and wine. Diamonds should be no different. Each natural diamond originates in a specific geographic location, shaped by Mother Nature’s elements, preserved for millions of years, and carefully excavated to extract the optimal result – a completely unique rough diamond. The age, location, and conditions all play a role in the outcome and can give significant meaning to the stone and the future consumer.
We have a Transformation Agenda
1. Creating economic Fairness throughout the value chain.
The industry today is unfair and complex.
From the moment of excavation, the traditional diamond supply chain is complex. Typically, a rough diamond changes hands 25 to 100 times without adding value, creating needless obscurity, and preventing transparency and traceability. This complex and crowded value chain prohibits miners and local governments from knowing the true value of their natural resources, meaning the communities are denied money that could be invested in infrastructure, health, and education.
It doesn’t have to be like this,
Doing business ethically is at the core of our ecosystem.
We vertically integrated the entire supply chain, eliminating all the extra intermediaries, and take full responsibility for the journey from rough to polished diamond.
The industry today is opaque.
The lack of transparency characterizing today’s diamond industry makes it nearly impossible to enforce good supply chain due diligence because a company can’t readily identify, prevent or mitigate risks relating to financing conflict, serious human rights abuses, bribery, money-laundering, tax evasion, and encroachment of the environment associated with their supply chains. On top of the absence of transparency, the industry also lacks the will to take accountability for its actions.
We do it differently and take accountability and transparency by heart.
We consider ourselves a vessel for transformation, a technological infrastructure to transform minerals for the benefit of the countries of origin. We ensure miners and governments get a complete insight into the post-production retail value of their resources and reap the financial benefits. Accountability and transparency are the core of our ecosystem, the collection, and aggregation of evidence-based data throughout our supply chain.
2 We are committed to empowering individuals throughout the value chain.
The industry today is based on modern slavery in the mining stage.
Diamonds are present in approximately 35 countries worldwide, where millions of people work to mine these rare and precious stones. Although 90% of all gem-quality diamonds are mined industrially by big conglomerates, many miners face difficult circumstances, including low wages, excessive overtime, and issues with health and safety. In some cases, international mining companies and governments have also abused the rights of local inhabitants when clearing land for exploration and mining, which has particularly affected Indigenous peoples.
We are working to transform this system.
The mine must also show us their due diligence process and how they put this into practice efficiently. We work only in countries and mines that adhere to our due diligence standards, benchmarking ourselves against the data from international organizations, such as the World Bank. We work in countries that are democratic with robust governance systems in place.
We choose to employ ethical craftsmanship in Antwerp and the country of origin.
Once the rough diamonds are mined, the gems are produced as cheaply and quickly as possible. 95% of all diamonds are manufactured in low-wage countries, such as India and China, where workers are subject to long hours in poor conditions. We choose a different approach. Instead, we brought the craftmanship of manufacturing back to Antwerp, a choice that is expensive but worth paying for due to its quality. Next, we also bring the manufacturing back to the country of origin, meaning these countries are excavating the diamonds and participating in transforming their minerals. Ethical business is the core of our ecosystem.
3. We believe in regenerating the natural world.
There is no denying that the diamond industry impacts the environment. Mining activities can contribute to the degeneration of the land due to large areas of land use, deforestation, pollution, water use, and GHG emissions.
We do things differently; we actively work on restoring ecosystems and biodiversity around our value chain.
Although we are not miners ourselves, we deliberately choose to only work with mines that work on reducing their impact, not just on paper but in practice. A few mines really put in the effort to recycle and reuse their wastewater, reducing their GHG emissions… For example, the Karowe mine in Botswana is operated by the Canadian company Lucara Diamond Corp.
We Are Rebels With A Cause
We have simplified the traditional complex diamond supply chain to create a unique ecosystem, using innovative technology and ensuring total transparency. This vertically integrated closed-loop model replaces conventional systems – which can include up to 25 middlemen and several international flights – with a single journey from our partner mine to Antwerp.
Through this business model, we maximize the value that flows back into the mining communities, empowering individuals and building resilience collectively. Together, with our commitment to ecological responsibility and regenerative impact, we work to empower people by revolutionizing value chains.
We have made it our mission to reimagine the natural diamond trade through a business model with fairness and honesty at its core, creating a positive impact on people and the planet.
Everything we do is based on these core values which underlie our approach to sustainability, inform our business structure, and make us different from the rest.
Our approach to sustainability extends beyond sustenance—we believe we have a responsibility as a business to do more than minimize the social and environmental impact of our business. We also want to build a better tomorrow by pursuing positive impact.
Therefore, we are currently working on our Positive Impact Plan: our roadmap for going beyond sustainability and helping to contribute to a regenerative future that is environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically inclusive.
We cannot do everything at once but must focus on the areas that have been identified as the highest priority areas for us to make a positive impact, based upon the robust Future-Fit Health Check.
Curious to know more? Stay tuned!
Four values sit at the core of everything we do. They include:
- Being fair – having respect for all and everything, relying on partnerships, striving towards inclusion and diversity
- Being honest – knowing how to be transparent and traceable and basing decisions on verifiable data
- Empower – enabling people to make real and lasting changes to their lives
- Creating a positive impact – working towards regeneration of the natural world and resilience of society
We don’t do things the old way. We are building a comprehensive, secure ecosystem igniting a paradigm shift in the diamond industry and emphasizing transparency rather than mystique. We know everything that happens within our ecosystem, and we are ready to champion responsibility to move towards a fairer world.
The way we do business at HB, and the way that we created our ecosystem, is the backbone of our future –
- Be conscious of provenance and origin. Sustainability at the mine and the country where the mine is located are core elements of our business.
- Long-term partnership with the mine
- Pay the mine based on polished value, not on auction value, and be completely transparent with the mine on key points of data
- Keep diamonds within our own ecosystem
- Avoid unnecessarily flying diamonds from country to country for processing
- Make sure all people working on the diamond are treated well and earn a living wage
- Create total transparency from mine to the consumer, collecting verifiable data on our blockchain
- Empower people in Antwerp and Botswana, educating them in our HB Academy
- Ensure proper accountability and financial responsibility
- Responsibly establish our HB Genesis facility in Botswana, where we employ only local people and work with local constructors and consultants
Our next step is to develop an overarching strategy to create a bigger impact, one that goes beyond sustainability and helps to contribute to a regenerative future that is environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically inclusive.
We believe our roadmap to positive impact will give us the guidelines and milestones to keep us on the right track throughout our journey.
Our targets are based on the Future Fit benchmark:
- Empower Individuals
- We want to enable people to create a stable living environment.
- Regenerate the natural world
- We want to regenerate the natural world by making conscious decisions that go beyond preserving natural ecosystems.
- Create economic fairness
- Our aim is to create economic inclusivity and fairness for everyone, so we can live in a thriving and resilient society.