The US head of the world’s largest diamond miner says its sustainability plan isn’t just good for the planet, it’s the future of its business – by Richard Feloni (Business Insider – May 2019)

Despite its position as the world’s largest diamond miner by volume, Alrosa is not a well-known name in the United States, the world’s largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company’s North American division, is on a mission to change that — and she says Alrosa’s sustainability initatives are key.

“Alrosa, as a pure-play mined diamond company, is one of the few companies that can, without question, guarantee the chain of custody and the provenance of the diamonds that they mine,” Foerster told Business Insider.

Alrosa is a publicly traded company whose majority shareholders are Russia’s federal and regional governments, but Foerster said that she’s not concerned with politics when it comes to the brand, given that the company’s mines in Siberia are among the world’s most sustainable.

“I don’t think the timing could be better in the United States,” she said, dismissing concerns about any political tensions between the US and Russia, and instead focusing on how American consumers are demanding accountability from companies, especially when it comes to environmental impact and treatment of workers.

“If we look at it beyond just the product and we go through the old stories of conflict diamonds and blood diamonds, the reality of mining today is so different, and we have done a really lousy job of communicating that,” she said, referring to diamonds mined in war zones, typically in Africa, used to fund conflicts.

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