Diamonds Do Good
Growth, Unity & Equality: Rebecca Foerster
In conversation with Rebecca Foerster, President at Diamonds Do Good
To celebrate the partnership between Diamonds Do Good and Responsible Jewellery Council, we spoke with Rebecca Foerster, President, to understand more about the organisation, their ongoing commitment to empowering people in natural diamond growing communities, and the impact their work has on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m always excited to work with people who have a shared passion for the mission of Diamonds Do Good – to support programs that develop and empower people in natural diamond communities and to share these stories of positive impact. I’ve been on the Board at Diamonds Do Good for 10 years and its executive committee for four years. Presently I am the President for Alrosa USA. Previously, I was vice president for strategic planning and marketing at Leo Schachter Diamonds and, prior to that, headed diamond sales and marketing for Rio Tinto Diamonds.
Q. You mentioned you're excited to work with new generations who have a shared passion for the mission of Diamonds Do Good, could you tell us more about that?
Supported by the international natural diamond industry, Diamonds Do Good is a global nonprofit organization and our mission is to support education, healthcare and entrepreneurial programs to develop and empower people in communities where natural diamonds are mined, cut, polished, and sold. To share these stories of positive impact as well as those of the international natural diamond industry to give a better understanding to consumers of the long-standing commitment given to creating sustainable social and economic impact along the journey of a natural diamond from mine to finger.
Q. In January 2021, you became the President of Diamonds Do Good, what is your focus in your first year?
Our immediate focus is to champion the narrative surrounding natural diamonds and to better help this message resonate with consumers – to help retailers talk to their customers about sustainability.
Q. What are consumers interested in when purchasing natural diamonds?
Consumers care that their purchases – especially those that symbolize love, celebration, and achievement – are creating positive impact along the entire supply chain. This is the defining uniqueness of natural diamonds and we must champion our differentiation for the sustainability of our industry. As the sole global grant-giving organization representing natural diamonds, Diamonds Do Good has a unique role as a third-party authenticator of these positive impact stories behind natural diamonds.
Q. What tools has Diamonds Do Good produced to help retailers speak with their customers about sustainability?
To better help this message resonate with consumers, we have developed The 5th C for retailers to communicate to their customers.
The traditional 4C’s of diamonds are tactical and crucial to evaluating the physical characteristics of a diamond. However, these are very technical terms devoid of the emotion and passion diamonds actually represent to the consumer. As an industry, it is our job to make our products relevant, exciting, and tangible. Today’s consumers seek out more than the comparative characteristics of diamonds and want to know about the impact they have on people.
Community – The 5th C – exemplifies the emotional stories of how natural diamonds positively impact real people along their journey from mine to finger. These stories give consumers a better understanding of the industry’s commitment given to creating sustainable social and economic opportunity for everyone who comes in contact with diamonds along their journey to being cherished by the consumer.
Community is the real story behind diamonds and their value. The natural diamond is just a manifestation of these stories.
Q. How do the SDGs connect to your work?
Where RJC provides a roadmap for industry members to follow in adhering to the SDGs, Diamonds Do Good shares the positive impact stories that result from this adherence. This provides further assurance and confidence to consumers that the industry works within a global construct where sustainability is the measure of success.
Q. How can the industry support the mission of Diamonds Do Good?
Our motto has never been more important: Doing Good is Good Business. We are an independent non-profit organization whose own sustainability is based on our yearly fundraising efforts. In order to continue making the connection with consumers, we need the industry’s support financially and through its communication efforts. We encourage the industry to include Diamonds Do Good in panel discussions, forums and other industry platforms allows our message to resonate with a wider audience.