Michael Hill is the first major jeweller in Australia and New Zealand to become an Accredited Retailer for Certified Sustainable Laboratory-Created Diamonds.
The laboratory-created diamonds available at Michael Hill are certified under the SCS 007 Jewelery Sustainability Standard.
The certification includes diamond origin traceability assurance, climate neutrality and a heightened level of transparency around environmental and social responsibility.
According to Tracemark’s Sustainable Luxury Consumer Report 2021, 63.5% of consumers sampled reported the pandemic made them more conscious of making ethical and sustainable purchasing decisions, a percentage that rises to more than 68% among frequent jewellery consumers.
As the company expanded its laboratory-created diamond offerings in stores throughout 2020-2021, this category grew 183% with a large increase in consumers opting to purchase laboratory-created diamonds, especially amongst the younger generation.
CEO Daniel Bracken said the certification is part of a broader commitment for the business.
“At Michael Hill, we’re in the business of celebrating the special moments in peoples’ lives and we know that the story behind the jewellery matters.
"We’ve long had a focus on responsibility and ethical sourcing, and our offering of Certified Sustainability Rated Laboratory-Created Diamonds is an important part of our ongoing sustainability commitment.”
Setting a new standard of excellence, a Certified Sustainability Rated Diamond has been independently evaluated in accordance with the SCS-007 Jewelry Sustainability Standard – Sustainability Rated Diamonds and certified against five pillars of sustainability achievement:
• ORIGIN TRACEABILITY – Each diamond can be traced back to its source based on advanced testing and auditing protocols, for the highest possible source-to-market certainty ever achieved.
• ETHICAL STEWARDSHIP – Developed with the help of experts on social and environmental justice, this pillar ensures detailed accountability for the health, well-being and fair treatment of all workers, as well as extensive protections for the environment.
• CLIMATE NEUTRALITY – Diamond Producers agree to eliminate or offset their entire climate footprint within a timeframe that can make a real difference. This requirement goes further than any other standard by including annual greenhouse gas emissions and additional climate pollutants, plus ‘legacy’ emissions (that is, the residual greenhouse gases remaining in the atmosphere from prior years of operation). Because the climate can’t wait!
• SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION – Each Diamond Producer works toward achieving zero impacts in all categories of production-related environmental impacts. This measure of sustainability has never been included in any sustainability standard, and therefore, sets an important precedent for other industries to follow.
• SUSTAINABILITY INVESTMENTS – Sustainability Rated Diamond Producers are helping to protect the climate and environment as well as people in need through two key investments:
1. A portion of all Diamond Certificate fees are directed to support independent initiatives aimed at improving the lives of workers and protecting the environment in artisanal and small-scale mining communities.
2. Supporting the upgrades of brick kilns in the Himalayan Mountains Watershed region – Bricks are the key building materials used for homes and buildings in the region. Unfortunately, these kilns represent one of the single greatest sources of potent climate and toxic air pollutants. Cleaning up these kilns with pollution prevention technologies helps both the climate and the health of local citizens.
SCS Global Services executive vice president Stanley Mathuram welcomed the retailer's certiciation.
“SCS is thrilled to welcome Michael Hill, the largest jeweller in the Australia/New Zealand market, as an accredited retailer to the SCS 007 Certified Sustainability Rated Diamond program," he said.
“By becoming an accredited retailer, Michael Hill is providing alternatives for customers who are demanding more transparency into the practices and sustainability of the diamonds they purchase.”
Certified Sustainability Rated Laboratory-Created Diamonds are currently available within the Fenix Created Diamonds for Michael Hill Collection across all stores including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.