Investment by The De Beers Group of Companies in skills training for the local workforce and social projects increased by 13% in 2015.
According to the company’s Report to Society, which has been published today, De Beers increased investments in skills training and social projects up to US$52.5 million (£35.7m) last year.
De Beers also improved its environmental performance, with reductions in energy consumption and carbon emissions.
De Beers invested US$24.3 million (£16.5m) in development training for its workforce in 2015, a 30% increase on the US$18.8 million the company invested in 2014.
The company also invested US$28.2 million in social projects, which benefited 47,800 people in its producer countries – an increase from the US$27.6 million (£12.7m) it invested in 2014.
The report also shows safety performance continued to improve in 2015, with De Beers achieving a 15% reduction in the total recordable case frequency rate. The company also reduced its environmental footprint, achieving savings of US$6.8 million (£4.6m) as a result of reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions over the last two years.
In addition, De Beers continued to demonstrate compliance with performance standards in 2015, becoming re-certified with the Responsible Jewellery Council and marking the 10th anniversary of its own externally assured compliance programme – Best Practice Principles – which now covers 320,000 people across the diamond pipeline, in 72 countries.
De Beers Group chief executive, Philippe Mellier, comments: “Investing for the long term, driving positive change and unlocking opportunities through diamond development are at the core of what we do and I am very proud of our performance in these areas in 2015.
“However, positive performance must not be seen as grounds for complacency and we will redouble our efforts in 2016 so that diamonds continue to have a positive and lasting impact for our partners, our employees and the communities in which we operate.”