NSC Develops Plan to Promote Sustainable Practices for Industry
The Natural Stone Council (NSC), a collaborative organization representing business and trade associations that promote stone under the Genuine Stone™ brand, announced the partnership of their Committee on Sustainability with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Clean Products. The alliance is charged with researching and promoting the ways that natural stone can contribute to the green building movement.
The NSC's Green Committee met with Jack Geibig, director of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Clean Products in Washington, D.C. Geibig and his team of environmental engineers proposed a comprehensive, multi-year sustainability plan that includes background research, the development of product-specific environmental fact sheets and data supporting life cycle assessment, and benchmarking of industry environmental practices, as well as communication of this information to both the stone industry and the design community.
The committee and research team are currently in the early phases of conducting on-site reviews of the environmental impacts of natural stone quarrying and fabrication processes. From these reviews, a data collection tool will be developed to gather information from as many stone quarries and fabricators as possible. This information will help establish the baseline environmental footprint of the stone industry and form the building blocks for creating life cycle data and developing life cycle assessments of Genuine Stone compared to other building materials.
"Because stone is such an important material in a number of key building product classes, it is crucial for the natural stone industry to be able to characterize the life cycle impacts of its products in order to meet the evolving demands of the green building marketplace," said NSC Committee on Sustainability Chairman John Mattke. "In order to do this, we are developing and pursuing a plan to promote the identification and adoption of sustainable practices throughout the industry."
By the end of 2008, the NSC Committee on Sustainability and the Center for Clean Products plans to have accomplished the following:
- Completed the benchmarking process for key manufacturing and quarrying operations during the production of natural stone products
- Identified stone industry best practices
- Established effective communications and outreach efforts both to internal and external groups
- Developed and distributed life cycle inventory datasets for key materials and operations
- Created environmental specification sheets for several natural stone materials.
For more information on what the NSC Committee on Sustainability is doing to promote Genuine Stone as a green building product, or for information on the green building movement in general, visit www.genuinestone.org.
About the Author
The Natural Stone Council formed in 2003 to unify the industry in promoting the value and use of Genuine Stone® in all building applications. For more information, please visit www.naturalstonecouncil.org.