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Innovation & Sustainability

We make truly meaningful jewellery for our modern world

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100% Carbon Neutral

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ESG Standards

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Clean Technology

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Sustainably Rated Diamonds

The energy required to grow a diamond in a lab is still significant, with carbon emissions recorded at being around 1 ton carbon for every 3 diamonds produced at 1 carat each. The way to ensure lab diamonds are sustainable is by using renewable energy to grow them and to accurately record any additional energy used from fossil fuels that may be unavoidable during the production which are then offset using legitimate methods.

Our Sustainably Rated laboratory grown diamonds are visually, physically and chemically identical to earth-mined diamonds; the difference is that they are grown above ground and have a fully traceable, sustainably rated origin.

No other standard provides this level of assurance to customers.

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Carbon Neutral

Sustainability is our passion and we take dedicated steps to show complete transparency in our supply chain, which is why we have carefully chosen a handful of partners around the world who are committed to sustainability. Strict audits are conducted in compliance with SCS Global Services, SMETA and the Responsible Jewellery Council following the ESG five pillars of sustainability.

This ensures the highest ethical and environmental standards are met in the production of our jewellery, based on climate neutrality efforts and investments in clean technology.

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Recycled Precious Metals

As part of our commitment to environmental responsibility, Ethica Diamonds primarily uses 100% recycled and re-refined gold in our fine jewellery with no compromise to the quality or durability.

There is no difference between recycled precious metal or newly mined metal and both pass the required strict Assay Assured standards for purity.

Upon request, all the Ethica Collection pieces or your own bespoke commission can be expertly crafted to order set with 100% Sustainably Rated lab grown diamonds and 100% Recycled Gold with the expert help from our Concierge Team.

People

Education and awareness are crucial in creating a healthy, equitable environment. Society needs to foster a culture of inclusivity, where diversity is celebrated and differences are seen as strengths, rather than as reasons for exclusion or discrimination.

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Planet

Taking urgent action on climate change is imperative to prevent catastrophic damage to our planet. This requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to renewable energy sources, and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change.

Responsible Business Practice FAQ's

Do you use external audits?

Ethica work with carefully chosen partners to make our jewellery which are listed below. These suppliers have been audited by third party global organisations and are certified that they adhere to strict & comprehensive sustainability standards. Please contact us if you wish to know specifically which of these bodies are relevant to the pice of jewellery you are looking to purchase from us.

RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY COUNCIL
The RJC is a standards-setting organisation established to advance responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices throughout the gold, silver, platinum group metals, diamond and coloured gemstone jewellery supply chain.
The RJC has developed a benchmark standard for the jewellery supply chain and credible mechanisms for verifying responsible business practices through third-party auditing. RJC members commit
to business operations in accordance with the RJC Code of Practices Standard and commit to
integrating ethical, human rights, social and environmental considerations into day-to-day
operations, business planning activities and decision-making processes.

RJC

SCIENTIFIC CERTIFICATION SYSTEMS
This standard ensures that precious metals and jewellery are made with 100% recycled gold, and not “conflict” metals from questionable or illegal sources. This standard also covers fundamental benchmarks of social and environmental accountability, assuring that workers are treated fairly according to international labour standards, and that destructive environmental practices are avoided. All of our jewellery can be produced using this standard, but please contact us for details on which of our jewellery pieces are regularly made using 100% recycled SCS gold.

SCS

SMETA
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit Report - SMETA is an ethical audit. It is a globally - recognised way to assess responsible supply chain activities, covering Sedex’s four pillars of Labour: Health and Safety, Labour standards, Environment and Business ethics.

For example, it covers topics such as child labour, wages and benefits, working hours, discrimination, harsh or inhumane treatment etc.

As part of this test: The inspection body has a right to all of our factory surveillance, schedules, compensation, years of service, and much more. The inspectors randomly select 10 employees for 1 on 1 interviews as well as small group interviews, no management members involved.

You must have the ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 to qualify for SMETA audit.

SMETA

What is a Sustainably Rated diamond? 

Sustainability is our passion and we are taking dedicated steps to show complete transparency in our supply chain, which is why we have carefully chosen a handful of  licensed diamond growers around the world who are dedicated to sustainability and adhere to  strict ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) practices. 

These growers take  time and care to grow the highest quality diamonds  that are visually, physically, and chemically identical to earth-mined diamonds; the difference is that they are grown above ground and have a fully traceable, sustainably rated origin. No other standard provides this level of assurance to customers.

They use a variety of energy sources during the growth production of their diamonds, applying various technologies to measure energy consumption. Even if 100% renewable energy is used, there are still minor differences that are then offset. Accurate numbers are used to calculate the amount of carbon offsets that are required to remove any carbon impact. 

This ensures the highest ethical and environmental standards that are based on climate neutrality efforts and investments in clean technology. 

What about the transportation of my jewellery if it’s not manufactured in the UK?

Our goal is to meticulously monitor energy consumption throughout the entire supply chain, spanning from the manufacturing stage to the point of sale and ultimately to the jewellery's final destination. This comprehensive approach ensures that our supply chain operates as close to carbon neutrality as possible, encompassing manufacturing and product transportation.

Moreover, we actively seek partnerships with shipping and logistics companies that operate on renewable energy and share our commitment to preserving the environment by offsetting their carbon footprint.

How do I know if the workforce in factories are treated fairly and if the factory is safe where my jewellery is made?

In addition to our commitment to sustainability and traceability, transparency is a core principle of our operations. Our rigorous vetting process, guided by the stringent criteria of the ESG practices, guarantees that all our diamond growing partners are dedicated to Fair Trade practices who regularly conduct thorough audits to ensure their ongoing adherence to these standards.

Why are natural diamonds not sustainable?

One of the major challenges the traditional diamond mining industry faces is its reliance on fossil fuels and De Beers produced 34.6 million carats of diamonds between 2022 and 2023, using over 455 million tons of displaced earth, 1.3 billion litres of fossil fuel, and 372 billion litres of water in their production. Other challenges include destabilising ecosystems, pollution & poisoning water supplies & massive health risks for local communities.

To produce just 1 carat of earth mined diamonds, approximately 100 square feet of land is disturbed and one out of 1,000 workers are injured.

Are lab diamonds sustainable?

At Ethica, we only use lab grown diamonds, bypassing the whole Conflict Free conversation entirely. However, what they do not bypass by default is the Sustainability conversation; It is not a given that lab grown diamonds are fully sustainable simply because they are grown in a lab and not mined. The only way to ensure lab diamonds are sustainable is to record the energy used to grow them, and offset this carbon, or ensure the energy used to grow the diamond is from renewable sources.

How do I know what type of energy is being used to grow my Sustainably Rated diamond?

Our Sustainably Rated diamond partners adopt various methods to ensure their diamonds are produced in a carbon neutral way. You can choose to upgrade to a Sustainably Rated diamond with any of our jewellery and, depending on the grade that you choose, we will carefully handpick your diamond from our inventory.

All of these diamonds are provided with individual, third-party certificates issued by SCS Global Services, Inc and/or SMETA, and are created through sustainable production practices.  Each certificate provides assurances that rigorous Environmental, Social and Governance compliance standards have been met and all of these diamonds are fully traceable and certified for Climate Neutrality The methods used to grow their diamonds include Solar and Hydro and other GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions are offset in accordance with the United Nations Greenhouse Gas Protocol, scope 1 and 2 and only the minor difference of operations are offset.

Can I choose the grower for my Sustainably Rated diamond?

If you have a preference on the energy used to grow your diamond, just let us know and we will select your Sustainably Rated diamond only from the inventory according to your request. Please note that there may be a delay for the stone shape and stone size to become available that you have chosen, particularly if you have selected a size or shape that is not held in stock.

Do I pay more for a Sustainably Rated diamond?

Sustainably Rated diamonds command a premium over regular lab-grown diamonds due to their adherence to elevated standards. We meticulously trace their origin, manufacturing processes, energy sources, factory trade practices, and various other factors. By enforcing stringent standards upon our partners, the operational expenses increase, necessitating a higher price point to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our offerings. The costs associated with the offset measures taken are factored into the diamond's pricing structure.

What’s the problem with fossil fuels anyway?

Fossil Fuels have been relied upon to give us everything we use from lights down to clothes we wear and the houses we live in. The issue is that there is so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right 

now, every living thing (including the air and oceans) is not able to adapt fast enough and it is slowly suffocating life on our planet. The goal is to bring the current 420 PPM of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere down to 350 PPM. You can find an accurate measure of atmospheric carbon on NASA's website here.

What is carbon offsetting?

Companies that are aiming to use 100% renewable energy, is a positive step towards sustainability and it is ultimately the way forward. However, the world will not be able to achieve this quickly enough and “Carbon Neutral” as a goal will not be enough, on its own, to avoid climate disaster.

Carbon Offsetting provides an answer to the day-to-day emissions created that can’t be prevented. This  process is how our growing partners compensate for their emissions by funding projects that provide sustainable development in communities around the world. These projects offer an equivalent reduction in emissions to those created; either counteracting or absorbing carbon dioxide and helping to restore balance to the environment.
It’s a strategy that’s already been adopted by many big brands from around the world, including the likes of EasyJet, Shell and Gucci, who all now use Carbon Offsetting to help improve the environmental impact of their businesses. 

As a result of unethical or questionable tactics with Carbon Offsetting, many companies, including Shell Oil are steering clear of it. However, there are legitimate and essential ways to offset and it is important to understand that there is no single silver bullet that will address climate disaster.

Why do we need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?

To meet global commitments and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, it’s imperative we reduce the carbon emissions we add to the atmosphere each day. But, the science now shows that emissions reductions alone will not be enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C. We must also remove billions of tons of excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
In the short term, carbon removal can help bring global emissions down to net zero, by providing a tool to address difficult-to-decarbonise sectors, such as aviation. In the future, once deep emissions cuts have been made, carbon removal may be needed to bring the overall level of CO2 in our atmosphere back down to levels deemed safe by scientists.

We all have a part to play in achieving a low-carbon future and for homeowners, this means being given the chance to balance their carbon footprint. For the environmentally conscious and those looking to reduce their impact on the climate, Carbon Offsetting gives them the tools to make a difference. Whilst it shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone approach and is best used as part of a wider carbon reduction strategy, it will help people reduce their impact on the environment.To learn more about the different types of carbon removal and why it’s a necessary part of climate mitigation, check out this video explainer by World Resources Institute.

How can carbon emissions that we can't control be offset?

The beneficiaries of carbon offsetting could be anything from helping some of the poorest households in West Africa to access eco-friendly cooking equipment, to supplying clean hydroelectric power to the local grid in rural China, the options are diverse. One example is the Kariba REDD+ Forest Protection project in Zimbabwe, Africa. Since its launch in 2011, it’s avoided more than 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and has prevented deforestation in an area of nearly 750,000 hectares.
While Carbon Offsetting might not be the only answer, it’s part of a much bigger solution. It’s true that many of us are already doing our bit in all areas of life to reduce our carbon footprint but choosing great initiatives such as Carbon Offsetting is yet another step in the right direction. By supporting worthy sustainability projects that deliver quantifiable greenhouse gas reductions, we can all play our part in securing the future of the planet.

In the UK, the net-zero strategy released by the Government last year includes at least 5m tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) per year of “engineered” removals by 2030, scaling up rapidly to 23MtCO2 by 2035 and 75-81MtCO2 by 2050.
As it stands, these engineered removals – technical solutions such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)and direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) – are essentially non-existent in the UK.

Our selected diamond growth partners support high-impact projects, from supporting Artisanal Scale Mining communities around the world, to funding ICIMOD's Himalayan Climate and Clean Air Project, an ambitious effort to dramatically reduce black carbon and other emissions in this critical ecosystem.

Is offsetting a form of Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is an exaggeration of a company's environmental credentials. This is completely different from offsetting. Offsetting removes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere that is used during production of the product. Greenwashing is given to companies that claim they are helping the climate more than they truly are. However, there are methods of offsetting that are also greenwashing as Forbes investigated.