Case studies

Meta study-environmental impact of diamond mining

The Challenge:

“Data relating to the environmental impact of the diamond mining industry is very opaque, often confusing with conflicting sources. We were looking to commission an independent meta data investigation and study to bring all of the numbers together to give a thorough review of all global data available and benchmark various statistics.”


“Our founder Dale Vince has worked with various teams at Imperial College London over the years because of their deep knowledge and expertise on several sustainability projects. It was very important for this study that we commissioned a truly independent team and working with Imperial ensures that exceptional level of credibility.” Marketing Director, Skydiamond


The project required a researcher from Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy to review publicly available academic, industrial and grey literature on diamond production methods to provide insights into the environmental impact; fuel, energy and water consumption; and CO2 emissions associated with open-pit, underground, alluvial and marine mining. Interviews were also conducted with relevant experts.

For more information on the study and the findings download the, Environmental Impacts of Mined Diamonds report.


“The resulting report was easy to follow, and provided indepth analysis on key aspects of the process to aide our understanding, along with a summary spreadsheet that calculated and distilled the environmental impacts of diamond mining, down to their per-carat impact. This calculation allowed us to illustrate, in our marketing material, the actual impact of an average one carat mined diamond in terms that people could relate to, such as – the CO2 emissions generated during the mining process could fill two shipping containers”  Marketing Director, Skydiamond

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