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STONEWORK & MASONRY 49


TAKING A STAND ON ETHICAL STONE SOURCING


With the focus on responsible sourcing ever growing, Stone Federation’s Matt Robb explains how a new register of companies helps developers ensure they’re using ethical natural stone suppliers


s the trade association for the natural stone industry, Stone Federation is passionate about promoting the use of natural stone as the ideal building material, and alongside this, the use of Stone Federation members as the leading companies within the industry. One of our key messages is how to select the correct stone for the project in hand. Within the recommended steps there has always been a strong element of ensuring that materials are ethically and sustainably sourced. In 2015, The Modern Slavery Act was created to tackle slavery in the UK and also ensure that businesses responsibly and ethically managed their global supply chains.


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THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN DEMAND FOR ETHICALLY AND RESPONSIBLY SOURCED MATERIALS


Stone Federation believed that we had a responsibility to the client base, the industry and our members to make a real and long-lasting impact on this issue. As a result, development began on a unique resource created specifically for the natural stone industry in response to The Modern Slavery Act and the increased focus on sourcing materials responsibly.


WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


THE ETHICAL STONE REGISTER In February of this year the Ethical Stone Register was launched at an event in London (pictured below) attended by major contractors, leading architects and designers, industry bodies and natural stone industry firms. The response from these


different sectors of the industry was overwhelmingly positive, and many of the professionals attending the event have now become ambassadors for the scheme. This project will allow natural stone


firms, whatever their size, to offer a responsible and manageable ethical sourc- ing solution to their clients. There are three tiers of membership of the Register: Declaration, Verification and Accreditation, each requiring an increasing level of external auditing and accreditation of the natural stone company. 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 per cent 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


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