27 Jun 2016

Ethical Sourcing - New Initiative

Stone Federation and partners Anthesis and Diagenesis Consulting are pleased to announce the start of an ethical sourcing project culminating in the creation of the Ethical Stone Register.

In light of the recent slavery act, this project will aim to assist clients in making an informed decision about the companies and quarries they should chose and the questions they should be asking. This will give clients the confidence they seek that the supply chains they are associated with are managed and that the risks have been minimised.

Stone Federation believes that it has a responsibility to the client base, the industry and its members to try and make a difference on this issue.

This project will evolve over the coming months and will allow Stone Federation members, whatever their size, to offer a responsible and manageable ethical sourcing solution to their clients.

Working together as an industry to deliver change in business practice is not always easy, but with the current commitment and momentum, we will achieve a positive transformation within supply chains.


Stone Federation Great Britain is the official trade association for the natural stone industry with over 100 years’ experience in connecting architects, designers, specifiers and clients with the finest stone professionals.  We are passionate about promoting natural stone as the building material of choice as well as positioning ourselves as the source for all things stone.

Anthesis is a specialist global sustainability services company founded on the belief that sustainable business practices are at the heart of long term commercial success.  Anthesis develops financially driven sustainability solutions and brings together expertise from countries around the world, with offices in the UK, US, Germany, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.  It has a track record of pioneering new approaches to sustainability and has won numerous awards.  We take our name from the Greek work ‘Anthesis’, the stage of a plant’s lifecycle when it is most productive.

Diagenesis Consulting is a specialist materials consultancy focussing on the use of natural stone.


Members' News

Stone Federation are a member of EuroRoc, an organisation made up of the various European Federations for the dimensional stone industry.  The aim of the group is to coordinate questions of common interest and find solutions while promoting the use of dimensional natural stone.


The Federation's EuroRoc representative, Michael Poultney of Albion Stone along with Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman, attended the latest meeting held at the Verona Stone Show in October.


There were a range of topics discussed, but shown are four discussions points that will be of particular interest to members.


1. Ethical Sourcing - There are various different degrees of controls of ethical sourcing across Europe and some is at a very local level.  It was accepted that the EU should be encouraging stones from ethical sources but there was some scepticism that a system with a high degree of certainty could be found in the short term.  It was agreed that the starting point should be to pool all the experiences from the differing methods currently being used by different, Countries, companies and organisations.

2. Geographical Protection - There was considerable support from across the EU and the robust comments from the UK were considered positive.  It is back with the European Parliament on what could be a long journey to possible implementation.  

3. Reporting Figures - There was concerns that the code numbers used for reporting production, imports and exports are not recording the dimensional stone figure accurately.  It was suggested that these should be related to the harmonised Product Standards (BS EN). Michael Poultney has been in dialogue with BGS and Eric Bignell at the Natural Stone Specialist magazine about the topic earlier in the month. Euroroc will progress the matter with the relevant authorities.

4. Silica Dust - There was a mixed response about the danger of the implementation of the dust regulations and the prospects of reducing the code.  It was agreed that the experiences from the implementation from national authorities will be requested.


With the island of Portland, from which the famous Portland limestone comes, being just off the Dorset coast from Weymouth, there could not have been a more appropriate material to use for a sculpture of the Olympic rings that has now been installed in the town that is hosting the Olympic sailing events. 

Burlington Stone has acquired the rights to quarry at Petts Quarry on Kirkstone Pass and Brathay Quarry near Ambleside following the regrettable demise of Kirkstone Quarries Ltd.

This new monument, costing £5 million, will commemorate the 55, 573 crew members of the RAF's Bobmer Command who were killed between 1939 and 1945.  The average age of those who lost their lives was just 22.

Albion Stone has recently purchased a new ‘JCB Fantini’, tractor mounted stone saw which will be used to increase efficiency in the Quarry & Mine.  This is the first machine of its type to be imported into any UK stone extraction operation. 


TV presenter, journalist and former conservative politician and Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo made a fascinating tour of local natural stone producer, Burlington Stone of Kirkby-in-Furness, shown on 26th January on BBC2 at 6.30pm, as part of series three of the BBC’s popular travel documentary, Great British Railway Journeys.


A £500,000 investment into an innovative new roof for Albion Stone’s Factory is set to save thousands of pounds a year on their electricity bills.

Albion Stone supplied over 3m³ of Jordans Basebed and Jordans Whitbed in the form of treads risers, paving and memorial stones.

Taking centre stage on The Marshalls Garden That Kids Really Want! at the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May the company utilised its own indigenous natural Yorkstone block to create two striking central features in this amazing organic playground.