Chief executive officer of the Diamond Producers Association, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, has claimed that no lab-grown diamond companies are using renewable energy.
The remark came when he was questioned by press about sustainability claims made by the lab-grown diamond market at a breakfast promoting natural stones. At the event the CEO suggested that man made stones actually have a high carbon footprint.
He said: “Laboratory-grown diamonds sparkle like real diamonds, but it would be misleading consumers to suggest that there is anything precious about them, or that they provide any environmental or social benefits. The reality is that they can be reproduced in unlimited quantities and that their cost of production goes down every day. They are effectively industrial replicas of a natural diamond, which require huge amounts of energy and water to produce as reactors have to be maintained at temperatures often exceeding that of the surface of the sun.
“No laboratory-grown diamond producer today uses renewable energy, in spite of what some are claiming, which explains their high carbon footprint.”
Discussing how natural stones impact the environment, the DPA chief exec said people are not up-to-date on how mining companies actually provide social and environmental benefits to the locations they are based.
He said: “Some people are still stuck on an outdated perception of what the diamond industry was around 15-20 years ago. The reality today is much different – we champion work with local communities which was seen to generate $16billion (£12.2m) in net positive socioeconomic and environmental benefits, and have recently commissioned the independent Total Clarity report to highlight the areas in which natural diamonds are thriving in addition to identifying where the industry can make improvements.”
Read some of the highlights from the Total Clarity report HERE.