HENIG DIAMONDS has become a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) by achieving certification against its Code of Practices by meeting the highest ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC. 3-year certification is the maximum time period granted by the RJC.
The RJC is renowned as the most comprehensive international standards-setting and certification organisation for companies engaged in diamond, gold and platinum group metal supply chains. RJC certification provides such companies with a means by which to demonstrate their commitment to ethical behaviour and responsible business practices.
With a 30-year history in London’s Hatton Garden, Henig Diamonds first became a member of the RJC in May 2017 and in just 6 months took the decision to apply for full certification. This entailed undergoing a detailed sustainability audit, covering all aspects of its business including Human Rights, Social and Environmental compliance.
Henig has demonstrated their commitment to standards of responsible business in the diamond industry. This is a historic moment for the company. Certification supports their customers’ expectations and helps build a positive message for the trade. It provides formal recognition of how they run their business in a fully responsible way and gives an assurance that throughout the supply chain, the diamond trade is fully committed to earning the trust of consumers.
As more middle-of-the chain diamond businesses undergo certification, it sends a strong message to encourage more diamond businesses to consider becoming certified by the RJC.
There is an opportunity to improve overall standards in the industry, to open new business opportunities and for certified members to have access to a wider market.
Receiving validation of the company’s practices also boosts staff morale, particularly for millennials who are understood to seek out an ‘employer that cares’.
The RJC audits are extremely rigorous and touch all aspects of the company, requiring detailed policies and procedures for every function of business operation. They also require specific hard evidence of compliance as well as anecdotal testimonies, such as interviews with staff. To support them in their preparation for audit, Henig appointed specialist advisors The Dragonfly Initiative (TDI). Vivien Johnston of TDI is an expert on jewellery supply chains. As a former jeweller herself she brings valuable insight to the assessment process:
“We find that as more diamond trading companies apply for certification, they ask for our help in preparing them ahead of their audit. Many diamond businesses are SMEs, family-owned or independent traders. For them, it can be daunting to be faced with the level of detail required in the questions about their business activities and to have every part of this scrutinised. TDI has a track record of success supporting diamond businesses through their audit to help them demonstrate effectively how they comply with the standards. We are proud to have helped Henig get it ‘right first time’ and they passed audit with a clean bill of health”.
TDI is extremely well-placed to offer advice, with a team who have not only contributed to creating the RJC standards but who also have technical expertise as auditors. Davidzo Muchawaya is one of TDI’s newest recruits with a wealth of auditing experience:
“Audits can be overwhelming for any company if they don’t know what to expect. Not only does TDI support them in preparation for the audit by taking away the guess work, we also help them to build and implement sustainable environmental, social and governance management systems for better business.”
The services TDI offer include drafting policies and procedures that incorporate hard and soft law, best practice and national regulations (at time of writing for both US and UK based businesses), based on the diamond companies’ existing procedures.