Tag Archive | "sustainability"

Dekton Liquid Sky and Liquid Shell. Image Credit - Alberto Rojas

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Dekton by Cosentino Achieves Carbon Neutrality

Posted on 30 October 2020 by cradmin3

Carbon neutrality has been achieved for the entire life cycle of Dekton® (from cradle to grave), covering Scopes 1, 2 and 3, from the extraction of the raw material, to the use of the product and the end of its life.

This recognition, obtained through emission reduction and compensation projects certified by the United Nations, confirms the good practices of Cosentino Group in terms of sustainability and environmental management. In addition to the above-mentioned calculations, has been fostered by the strong measures taken by Cosentino in recent years to achieve greater efficiency in terms of energy, consumption of resources, use of renewable electricity and sustainable mobility policies.

In the field of carbon footprint calculation, an emissions reduction plan has been implemented. In the case of Dekton, the plan has resulted in a 7 percent reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions thanks to both the implementation of the best available techniques and the optimization of processes, with investments of more than 3 million euros.

Finally, in order to achieve carbon neutrality, Dekton has offset its emissions by investing in GHG emission reduction projects. These projects are not only responsible, but also have a strong social component in support of achieving the SDGs of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

“In Cosentino we are progressing alongside the international momentum in the transition to a low-carbon economy, promoting energy efficiency, emissions reduction and sustainable mobility. This approach enhances our innovative character and allows us to improve processes with a vision of the future and, ultimately, combines our performance with strategic goals such as innovation (SDG 9), sustainable production (SDG 12), and climate action (SDG 13)”, says Antonio Urdiales, Environment Director of Cosentino Group.

You may also be interested in this article: Neolith Launches Digital Platform

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Neolith Carbon Neutral sm

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Neolith Achieves Carbon Neutral Status

Posted on 08 July 2020 by cradmin3

To attain the highly-prized carbon neutral status Neolith® followed the internationally recognized Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) and implemented a dynamic, innovation-led sustainability strategy coupled with tactical, high value carbon off-setting.

These measures have led to carbon neutrality across the entire business, significantly seeing the brand receiving 100 percent of its electricity in the year 2019 from renewable energy sources. This means no less than 7,690 tons of CO2 emissions have been removed.

Additionally, 90 percent of the waste generated by Neolith® is recycled and given a second life either with company operations or through authorized 3rd party players; which goes to prove the brand’s solid commitment to a circular economy.

Neolith® surfaces also embody these principles, with up to 48 percent of the weight of each slab produced being made from recycled material.

Plant machinery has been upgraded to improve energy efficiency, particularly the 3rd line’s furnace which has benefited from the installation of an O2 and pressure control system, significantly reducing the amount of gas consumed. This is complemented by a 40 percent reduction of forklift truck diesel consumption and a 20 percent decrease in hazardous waste.

Neolith® has also undertaken a number of environmental projects in line with its wider sustainability strategy. These projects compensate for and absorb a specific quantity of CO2.

Chief among these is an exciting, upcoming project in Central America to protect and maintain the unique biodiversity of the Guatemalan Caribbean Conservation Coast. Through this project, Neolith® will be seen working to protect the unique biodiversity of the forests and jungles remaining in the region. As a direct result of the project activities, four million tons of CO2 will be avoided by 2021, the equivalent of taking more than 440,000 homes off the grid for a year.

There are also important biodiversity benefits given that more than 400 species of birds that have been documented in the project will be protected.

You may also be interested in this article: USGBC Develops Pilot Credit for COVID-19 Green Cleaning

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Michels Red Granite Quarries Achieve ANSI/NSC 373 Certification

Posted on 01 March 2018 by cradmin

michelsFollowing its commitment to sustainable business practices, Michels Corporation achieved certification of two red granite quarries in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Red Granite Quarry and Wausau Red Granite Quarry have both achieved certification to the ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone Standard.

Requirements for the Chain of Custody portion of the NSC 373 standard have also been completed by Michels. This allows the material to be tracked from point of harvest, through fabrication and travel and to the project site.

Michels became the first company in Wisconsin and fifth in the world to successfully complete the Natural Stone Council’s process and received NSC 373 certification for two of its limestone quarries in 2017 Michels continues to explore certification at additional sites that align with the standard.

NSC 373 certification is a voluntary accreditation based on performance and metrics for improvement in the following categories: water, transportation and chain of custody, site management, land reclamation, corporate governance, energy, management of excess process material and solid waste, safer chemical and materials management, human health and safety, and innovation.

“Sustainability is important to Michels, our customers and the design community,” said M.O. Bohrer, Michels Vice President of Corporate Business Development and former chairman of the Natural Stone Council. “We are tremendously proud to be the first company to have both red granite and limestone quarries that meet these rigorous standards.”

You may also be interested in this article about LEED and LBC recognizing sustainable stone certification.

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LEED v4 and LBC Now Recognize Sustainable Stone Certification

Posted on 25 October 2016 by cradmin

natural-stone-councilThe Natural Stone Council (NSC) – an association made up of the leading Natural Stone Associations in the country – announced its Sustainable Production for Natural Dimension Stone (ANSI/NSC 373) certification is now recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED v4 building certification program, as well as the International Living Future Initiative’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge (LBC) version 3.1. Design teams now have a clear path to ensure the stone they specify helps projects reach sustainability goals as outlined by LEED and LBC.

“Being named an approved program by the USGBC and the ILFI within Responsible Sourcing of Materials is a huge accomplishment for the stone industry,” says Kathy Spanier, NSC Sustainability Committee Chair and Director of Marketing at Coldspring, a Minnesota-based stone industry producer. “These achievements come as the result of tremendous coordination and years of cooperation among stone industry associations, environmental experts and additional stakeholders to further the awareness of sustainably sourced natural stone.”

The sustainable stone certification standard was established in 2014 by the NSC. The two main goals of the standard are to provide natural stone quarriers and fabricators with third-party verification of their sustainable practices and to give the building and design community confidence that certified stone is a sustainable material choice.

The NSC Sustainability Committee worked closely with third-party organizations to determine the sustainable footprint of how stone is quarried, transported and processed in order to align the ANSI/NSC 373 with LEED and LBC. In addition, ANSI/NSC 373 was developed using the consensus-based ANSI (American National Standards Institute) process and can be applied internationally with certification by a third-party certifier like NSF International.

“I attribute the success of the ANSI/NSC 373 certification acceptance to the Natural Stone Council’s early commitment and dedication to aligning with leading green building programs such as LEED and LBC,” says Jessica Slomka, manager, National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF International, LEED AP BD C.

ANSI/NSC 373’s national and international requirements for environmental, ecological, human health and social responsibility in stone quarrying and processing will help satisfy the growing demand for transparency in the market.

“Natural stone rates high on an environmental scale. It is reusable, low maintenance, emits no VOCs, and is one of the most durable and most beautiful materials on the planet,” says Duke Pointer, Executive Director of the Natural Stone Council. “The ANSI/NSC 373 certification gives the market confidence they are using a material that has also been third party verified.”

LEED v4 and LBC Application

The LEED Steering Committee approved certification to ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimensional Stone as a “USGBC-approved program” third-party verification (full credit) in Option 1 of LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C Material Resources credit Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, provided that the facility and/or quarry operation has earned certification including either optional credit 7.2.1 (Ecosystem Boundaries) or 7.2.2 (Environmental Impact Assessment), and has made its scorecard publicly available.

In addition to LEED v4, the Living Building Challenge is advocating the Sustainability Standard for Natural Dimension Stone for Living Building projects using natural stone. ANSI/NSC 373 aligns within the LBC 3.1 Material Petal, in the Responsible Industry category.

The rigorous and voluntary certification standard including its companion Chain of Custody program is gaining acceptance among stone industry companies. In 2014, TexaStone Quarries, which operates natural stone quarries and a closely aligned fabrication facility in Garden City, Texas, became the first company in the world to achieve certification. Coldspring became the second to achieve ANSI/NSC certification of its headquarters, primary manufacturing operations and three Minnesota-based quarries. Additional companies have since certified, with more working to achieve certification.

For more information about ANSI/NSC 373, visit http://naturalstonecouncil.org/education-training/nsc-initiatives/dimensional-stone-standard/ .

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A Look at the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard ANSI/NSC-373

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A Look at the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard ANSI/NSC-373

Posted on 23 December 2014 by cradmin

In 2014, after 5 years in development, the ANSI/NSC-373 standard for “Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone” was released, and recently TexaStone Quarries was the first to be certified under that standard. So, we thought we would share with you this video that explains the standards developed by the Natural Stone Council (NSC) and the reason behind them. This video, put out by BillLevyProductions, offers interviews with a variety of industry players and some of the folks behind the development of the standard explaining why it was developed and gives a very good review of what types of things are part of the certification process and how it works.

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the program, the video or stone in relation to sustainability, so drop us a line at [email protected].

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TexaStone Quarries Named First Company to Meet NSC Sustainability Standards

Posted on 19 December 2014 by cradmin

TexaStone Quarries, based in Garden City, Texas, is the first company to achieve the level of certified stone producer under new sustainability standards. The creation of the program – ANSI/NSC-373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone – was completed earlier this year, following several years of development using the consensus-based American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process. Achieving the voluntary standards allows six quarries operated by the company to receive “Gold” certification, and its closely-allied fabrication plant to receive a “Silver” certification. The certifications came after facility inspections and paperwork verification by NSF Sustainability. And, there are reportedly several other stone companies that have begun the certification process.

The ANSI/NSC 373 standards cover nine facets of a quarrier and fabricator’s operation, including water usage and recycling, custody and transportation, site and plant management, land reclamation and adaptive use, corporate governance, energy use and conservation, management of excess process materials and waste, safer chemical and materials management and human and health considerations. There is also an optional “innovations” standard. There also are chain-of-custody certification standards for stone distributors.

Four levels of certification are available for quarriers and fabricators: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each individual entity can be certified individually. Transparent, credible standards and independent third-party certification are important to those in the construction industry seeking more sustainable stone products. This includes local, state and federal government agencies and others seeking to comply with U.S. Executive Order 13514, which sets a goal for 95 percent of government contracts to include products and services with sustainable attributes, as well as a U.S. General Services Administration standard for sustainable construction (GSA PBS-P100 facilities standards for the public building service).

There are 18 requirements under ANSI/NSC-373 with a total of 41 possible points. The more points a company earns, the higher designation it receives. The maximum points will earn the platinum level. Companies can upgrade to higher levels by improving in various areas of the program, and each facility must be re-certified every four years.

“The growing ‘green’ movement required us to develop standards that allow us to compare out products with others in the marketplace,” said Duke Pointer, Natural Stone Council (NSC) executive director. “Certification of TexaStone as a sustainable producer of natural dimension-stone products is a major milestone for NSC’s nearly five-year program to develop sustainability standards that dovetail with natural stone’s inherent qualities of beauty, durability and variety.”

“The industry wanted to identify how the stone was processed from the quarries and the processors,” said Tom Bruursema, general manager of NSF Sustainability. “As the first to earn certification to ANSI/NSC 373, TexaStone leads its industry in adopting more sustainable practices that help its customers and organizations meet the continued growth in green buildings.”

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NSF, Natural Stone Council Develop Stone Sustainability Standard

Posted on 06 December 2013 by cradmin

NSF International and the Natural Stone Council (NSC) have developed NSC 373 Sustainability Assessment for Natural Dimension Stone, touted as the first sustainability assessment standard for stone. It lays out criteria for sustainable development aspects of stone production while defining environmental requirements for stone quarrying and production.

NSC utilized NSF International’s technical expertise as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited standards developer to help create the consensus-based standard. When finalized as an ANSI standard it is expected to assist in acceptance of NSC 373 by trade and sustainability stakeholders.  NSF helped NSC through the consensus process by gathering and managing a joint committee comprised of key stakeholders to define and agree on criteria for the standard. The committee included stone industry trade associations, quarry and processing companies, NGOs, architects, and government, environmental advocacy, academia, green building and design groups.

Certification to NSC 373 by quarries and processors is the first step in the product certification process for natural stone. Full certification for stone products will be achieved through a combination of NSC 373 certification for quarries and processors along with chain of custody (NSC COC) compliance for the rest of the distribution chain.  The NSC COC program is currently in development and near completion.

“As products with sustainability claims continue to enter the marketplace, independent, third-party certification of products to consensus-based standards can help architects and specifiers make educated decisions about product selection,” said Duke Pointer, executive director of the Natural Stone Council. “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.”

“NSF International helped NSC establish a stone standard which includes well-defined environmental, ecological, social responsibility and human health metrics through a multi-stakeholder, science-based approach,” said Tom Bruursema, general manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division. “The criteria in this standard will help quarry operators and stone fabricators assess their internal practices, drive efficiencies and attain preferred status in their markets as the building industry continues to value sustainable products and practices.”

The NSC 373 standard is leading the transition to verified, more sustainably extracted and processed natural stone. This allows the natural stone industry to compete on a level playing field with other industries that already have sustainability standards and enables quarries and primary processing plants to demonstrate commitment to applying more sustainable approaches to development and corporate operations.

NSF International provides certification to the new NSC standard through the NSF Sustainability Division. NSF Sustainability will evaluate natural stone quarrying and fabrication operations in several key impact categories, including water, transportation, site management, land reclamation and adaptive reuse, and management of excess process materials and waste.

Certification to NSC 373 is based on point totals to achieve Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level certification. Monitoring and periodic re-evaluation is required to maintain certification.

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GlassRecycled Offers Galaxy Collection

Posted on 18 June 2013 by cradmin

glassrecycledmdGlass Recycled offers its Galaxy Collection line of surfacing material, designed to cater to multi-use development properties. The company’s boutique quality recycled glass surface is available for large scale multi-unit properties at near granite prices. The material features 100 percent recycled clear glass and porcelain particulate.

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Grenite Environmental Product Declaration Issued

Posted on 28 May 2013 by cradmin

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for Grenite engineered stone by Saint-Gobain was issued. Compliant with ISO 14025, EPDs are internationally recognized, standardized tools that detail the environmental impact of a product. The move is made to help architects and designers better identify environmental impacts from building materials when making purchasing decisions. To determine the product’s eligibility for an EPD, UL Environment tested one square meter of the Grenite Recycled Refractory (Birch Prada) and the Grenite Recycled Slag (Anaconda Black) line in accordance with EPD product category rules (PCRs). UL Environment develops EPDs in five steps, including verifying the product lifecycle assessment (LCA) meets requirements defined in the PCRs. The EPD presents the results of the LCA along with additional information about the product’s performance and other sustainability attributes.

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Eos Surfaces Adds 2 New GEOS Colors

Posted on 19 April 2013 by cradmin

Eos Surfaces added  two new colors to its GEOS Recycled Glass Surface line. Juneau is a bright, jewel-toned turquoise and Rincon is a mosaic of olive, rust and light blue in a sand-hued base. Equally friendly to the fabricator as it is to the environment, GEOS is NSF, Green Circle and Elite Green certified, and may qualify for up to four LEED credit points. After being available in Home Depot in limited areas, GEOS will be rolling out to all Home Depot stores over the next 12 to 16 months.

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