Stone goes green in America

There is a tendency to think of Americans as climate change deniers, but being green is becoming as commercially advantageous there as it is in Europe.

So the America Natural Stone Council (NSC) has unveiled tough new sustainability standards for natural stone that put stone on par with other materials in the expanding field of green construction.

The standards, developed through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), will allow quarriers, processors and fabricators of natural stone who consistently meet or exceed the standards to promote and label their stone products as ‘certified Genuine Stone®’, the American online news chanel StoneUpdate reports.

NSC launched the standards, including a ‘Chain of Custody’ procedure similar to the requirement of CE marking in the UK, during the 2014 American Institute of Architects (AIA) convention in Chicago at the end of June.

The standard covers nine facets of a quarry and/or fabrication operation:

  • Water usage and recycling
  • Custody and transportation
  • Site and plant management
  • Land reclamation and adaptive use
  • Corporate governance
  • Energy usage and conservation
  • Management of excess process materials and waste
  • Safer chemical and materials management
  • Ethical and health considerations
  • (Innovation is included as a tenth, and optional, element.)

The NSC expects several major quarriers and fabricators to apply immediately for certification.