RAPAPORT… The meaning of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has changed significantly over the years. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, companies typically donated to charity on the quiet as a way of giving back to society; the idea certainly wasn’t flaunted. However, corporate philanthropy expanded in the 2000s to the point where, today, many businesses put their societal contributions front and center in their strategies and messaging.
These efforts extend well beyond financial donations to a given cause. Organizations across all industries are instead seeking to emphasize how they are building environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their business plans and targets. They want to highlight how they operate sustainably and with social consciousness in line with recognized standards.
The way in which a company articulates the ESG steps it is taking gives its customers, employees and shareholders a window into the principles the business upholds and what the brand stands for. And while these factors may not (yet) be the highest priority for consumers in their purchasing decisions, they do see the value of a brand when made aware of the good it does.
Consumer awareness is one factor driving the ESG movement, but it’s not the only one or even necessarily the most influential. There are also financial, political and technological considerations. We explore these in the August issue of the Rapaport Research Report to provide context as to what is shaping the diamond and jewelry industry’s approach to sustainability.
Rapaport has made social responsibility the focus of its editorial content for the month of August. That encompasses extensive coverage in Rapaport Magazine as well as hosting a special conference on the topic, which takes place at the JCK Las Vegas Show on Sunday, August 29.
Continuing with the theme, the Rapaport Research Report presents some of the options that are available to help diamond and jewelry companies achieve their ESG goals. They range from non-profit organizations to tech-driven platforms that enable businesses to demonstrate their goods are responsibly sourced and that they meet acceptable ESG standards.
Of course, companies can also develop their own programs independent of such initiatives, or in addition to them. But what is most important is that they’re cognizant of how vital ESG is to their corporate identity and brand awareness. For many, the drive toward social responsibility is more a question of economics than it is of ethics. But unlike in decades past, the two are now intimately connected.
The business world is increasingly taking responsibility for people, planet and profit — the three Ps of sustainability. And the diamond and jewelry trade has the tools to play its part.
The Rapaport Research Report presents proprietary data on polished diamond prices, along with market intelligence and analysis. Subscribe to the report here.
Image: Avi Krawitz and the cover of the August Rapaport Research Report. (Ben Kelmer, Shutterstock)