News

News

11 Dec 2017

Ethical Stone Register - Pilot Scheme Member Interviews


Stone Federation are fast-approaching the official launch of the Ethical Stone Register, a unique resource created specifically for the natural stone industry, in response to The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the issues of sourcing materials responsibly.

 

In the lead up to the launch, we will be interviewing the four pilot scheme members, namely Amarestone, Burlington Stone, Hutton Stone and Natural Paving Products to find out about their journey on the scheme.  These interviews will provide majors contractors, architects, designers, clients and natural stone firms with an insight into the workings and systems of the Ethical Stone Register.

 

The first interview is with British quarry operator and supplier, Hutton Stone, and Stone Federation’s Chief Executive, Jane Buxey, asked Hutton Managing Director, Marcus Paine, about their Ethical Stone Register journey and achieving Verification Level.  To read the full interview, please click here.

 

There are three tiers of membership of the Register, Declaration, Verification and Accreditation and the requirements of each level are explained below.

 

Declaration - At this tier, companies will have to complete a questionnaire looking at the responsible and ethical sourcing practices of their business. To achieve this level, a company will need to meet 100% of the criteria. The claims and assertions made by a firm at this level will be by means of self-declaration.

 

Verification - At this tier, the claims made by a company at the Declaration level will be externally verified. The initial verification will be for the company rather than each material they supply, however, they may choose to have some or all of their stones included at Verification level. This will involve an independent auditor assessing the journey of the material and ensuring that the responsible and ethical sourcing criteria are met the whole way along the supply chain. Only verified stones will appear on the Register itself.

 

Accreditation - At this tier, members will have met the requirements of the Declaration and Verification tiers, and will be further audited for this level. The aim is to have the scheme recognised and to gain credits within schemes such as BREEAM and LEED at this tier.

 

To find out more information about the Ethical Stone Register, or to register your interest in attending the launch event, please email matt@stonefed.org.uk

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.

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