How ALROSA's Diamonds Do Good
By National Jewelers
November 11, 2020
Charity is a new norm. According to Giving USA, last year was one of the most profound in terms of charity
Charity is a new norm
According to Giving USA, last year was one of the most profound in terms of charity— American individuals and organizations donated more than $449.64 billion to diverse funds and nonprofits. Since 2017, the donation rates had been permanently growing and last year they rose 4.2% over the results of 2018. Meanwhile economic growth remains the main driver of giving more, common sense of responsibility and generosity which has recently intensified in American society also brings positive impact. Giving to humanities funds and environmental organizations show double-digit growth, indicating the nation’s aim to contribute in social and ecological improvements.
Alongside charity popularization, customers pay more attention to the brands’ social mindfulness as well as their approach of doing good. These days it is clear that producing qualified goods is not enough to win a customer’s favor. Millennials and Gen Z have turned their heads to the ethical aspects and brands that match their personal values — for young generations social responsibility and sustainability is not just a publicity stunt.
According to the Hotwire survey, 47% of internet users are willing to change a favorite product or service, if it violates their personal values. The study conducted by the International Trademark Association conducted by the International Trademark Association showed that 89% Gen Z cohorts believe that brands should do good in the world. Protecting environment and resolving social issues are the most anticipated approaches. Companies’ charitable work effects purchase decisions too — more than 73% of Americans choose products and services which support giving and philanthropy.
Diamond market’s impact
The diamond mining industry still suffers from negative stereotypes that have accumulated over previous years. But in fact, sustainable initiatives have become an inherent part of leading diamond mining companies’ strategies. To protect the environment, market giants apply effective regulations and mining plans as well as implement new responsible practices to give back to the lands and societies.
Although diamond mining is less harmful in contrast to other types of mining because it does not use any toxic chemicals, leading market players focus on diminishing their effects and put great efforts into lands rehabilitation, waters restoring and investing in social and environmental protections locally and globally. Same cannot be said about lab-diamonds producers, which are often positioned as responsible and eco-friendly, but whose greenhouse gas emissions are 3 times greater than for natural diamonds.
New epitome of help
Diamond jewelry has always been more than just an accessory — it was aimed to make a statement, to mirror the owner’s personality and symbolize what was important for them. These days, per the Bain&Co research, both consumers and retailers are seeking for transparency and responsible diamond sourcing. Hence, it is safe to say, that now perception of diamond jewelry transforms among buyers and professionals — it is not just a tool for personal expression, but the way to deliver the idea of philanthropy, mindfulness and care.
For the last several years, the global leading diamond producer ALROSA has been unveiling profound initiatives in the realm of transparency and conflict-free diamonds. The main approach is to let partners and buyers trace the whole history of diamonds from taking them out the pipeline to polishing and cutting. Stakeholders are able to assure that the stones are mined in conflict-free area in Russia as well as track stone's way to markets.
ALROSA’s diamonds are not just natural and non-conflict. It is purely ethical. ALROSA remains the industry leader the industry leader in social investments too, according to the PwC study. Every year, ALROSA allocates 3% of the revenue to social expenses — this is the leading indicator in the industry. In 2019, the company allocated $159 million for pension payments, local development programs and corporate social programs for employees and their families, unveiling more than 500 social and charitable projects. The cost of environmental initiatives totaled another $92 million and included rare species protecting such as reindeers and restoring local waters.
For more than 60 years, ALROSA’s diamonds have been helping Yakutia, the largest and the coldest region where diamonds are born. The company's approach is to make sure that diamonds help provide people of the region with a decent life and the necessary social infrastructure.
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ALROSA’s Top 5 Social Projects
REHABILITATION CENTER FOR DISABLED CHILDREN IN YAKUTSK
Every year, about 3,000 physically disabled children will receive medical care in the new rehabilitation center in Yakutsk. ALROSA covered the construction expenses, which exceeded RUB 1 billion ($15,4 millions). The center can help 250 children at once, and their parents can stay with them during the rehabilitation course. It is well equipped not only with technics and qualified doctors, but also psychologists, working with parents and explaining them how to care about their kids. Before the center was created, families with disabled children should search for care outside Yakutia.
REHABILITATION CENTER FOR SOCIAL ORPHANS IN MIRNY
Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that children are left without parental love. These children need to be protected.
The company has financed $3 million to the construction of a social rehabilitation center for minors that is called Kharyskhal (eng. protective amulet) in Mirny. The main goals of the center are to help to save families, protect children, provide care for them in difficult times, and help children find new parents. It includes social, medical, psychological services and pedagogical work. While staying in the social center, children get food and housing, communication with peers and teachers, the opportunity to continue and finish their education and get additional skills.
FREE MEDICAL SCREENING FOR EMPLOYEES
Since 2017, ALROSA has been implementing a free medical screening for all employees in order to prevent serious diseases. People undergo screening under the programs “Men's Health”, “Prevention and Early Diagnosis of the Digestive System’s Diseases”, “Women's Health”, “Cardio screening” and “Audio screening”. Workers diagnosed with serious disease undergo treatment in leading medical institutions in Russia.
ALROSA helped to build a new hospital in Zhigansk, a small village in Yakutia ($6 million). A medical center with modern equipment has been built on the site of a cold old wooden building. In two years, thanks to the company's investments, the staff of doctors and nurses has been increased, new departments were added and new equipment installed. Diagnostics and treatment of patients reached a new, flagship level.
NASTROYENIYE (ENG. CHEER, MOOD) SPORTS AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Every year ALROSA hosts over 4,000 sports and cultural events in the “diamond province” of Yakutia. The company has sponsorship contracts with various sports and cultural organizations. This is how the festival Nastroyeniye appeared in the towns of “diamond province”. Stars of basketball and acrobatic rock'n'roll, famous hockey players and wrestling champions, actors and choreographers came to Mirny, Aikhal, Udachny and Yakutsk to show their skills and teach children. Several thousands of children and adults attend the events. They meet the athletes with great pleasure, and participate in master classes and lessons. Every lesson is absolutely free.
As ALROSA’s top priority, social responsibility and mindful business is not limited by the regions of the company’s presence. ALROSA aims to expand its approach overseas and this year pulled efforts with Brilliant Earth — the retailer of ethically sourced and sustainable diamonds. Philosophies of both companies have much in common. Brilliant Earth and ALROSA share the same vision on importance of transparent provenance as well as using of sustainable metals and mitigating the effects of mining process.
Their partnership resulted in creating the limited Diamonds That Care collection of jewelry with diamonds, ethically mined in Yakutia. The items are made of natural brown-toned diamonds. Different hues of stones embody the diversity and abundance of nature and remind their owners how important it is to be aware and take care. As ALROSA’s social initiative, Diamonds That Care transmits the idea of awareness and personal responsibility. Every purchase of items from Diamonds That Care collection donates 10% to the Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
With the underlying idea called "I Care," ALROSA aims to draw attention to the diamonds as for the opportunity to do good twice — to bring joy and to give a helping hand those in need. Diamonds That Care collection jewelry piece is an easy way for everyone to make a contribution and invest in better world.
At the heart of each such initiative is a desire to help solve a social problem. But such initiatives are also aimed at showing that the responsibility of both manufacturers, retailers, and consumers is essential and setting an example for others. Care is probably the only thing where the interests of consumers, sellers and manufacturers converge at the same point, because the idea is much more important than the price or design.
Today, Brilliant Earth is the only partner of ALROSA in the US market for Diamonds that Care collections. But the company is always open to other ideas for social initiatives and charity projects, because diamonds can really help people.