News Brief

NSF Certification Verifies Sustainability of Stone

Calling stone “natural” doesn’t cut it anymore: NSC 373 sets a new standard for quarrying, processing, and transporting dimension stone.

Land reclamation can be an environmental issue with quarries when they close; some become parks like this one in Marion, Ohio.

Photo: Todd Petrie. License: CC BY 2.0
Although stone has inherently green properties, its life cycle includes many environmental stumbling blocks (see “Stone, the Original Green Building Material”). A new NSF International standard developed by the Natural Stone Council (NSC)—NSC 373, Sustainability Assessment for Natural Dimension Stone—aims to distinguish products with a lighter environmental footprint.

The program examines such sustainability indicators as transportation energy (the source of stone’s greatest environmental impact), water use, site management, chemical and waste management, and health and safety.

An NSC chain-of-custody program, reportedly to be published soon, will supplement the new standard by holding a product’s entire distribution network accountable for environmental stewardship as well. “NSC 373 provides a needed standard of excellence in sustainability for the natural stone industry and will serve as the first step of the developing NSC chain-of-custody program,” said NSC executive director Duke Pointer in a press release. The two together “will define and help promote more sustainable products within our industry.”

For more information, see the NSC website.

Published December 2, 2013 Permalink

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December 4, 2014 - 10:51 am

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Congratulations to TexaStone Quarries for becoming the first quarry certified to NSC 373! Its quarry operation was certified gold level and its processing facilities silver. Brenda Edwards, the company's owner and general manager, deserves a lot of credit for helping develop NSC 373 and for putting in the work to see the certification process through. Well done!

Brent