ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY
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Since Stonepave was formed in 1994, we have always maintained our own, extremely strict company ethical policy regarding the welfare and conditions in our overseas manufacturing facilities.
To this end, we thoroughly vet every one of our suppliers on an ongoing quarterly basis, however new or established our relationship may be, and we are also a Win=Win Fair Stone partner, having signed up to uphold their international Social Standard for natural stone imports from developing and emerging markets (see en.fairstone.org for more).
In order to ensure that a supplier’s levels of working conditions meet our own high ethical standards, our vetting process includes visits as appropriate to their quarries, office, factory and/or welfare facilities, and we always vet any potential new suppliers before any orders are placed.
We also often take customers along with us on vetting visits to more established suppliers, so that you can see for yourself how your order gets processed.
When sourcing Far Eastern suppliers, we choose to only trade with companies who place a high value on worker welfare. Reassuringly, many of these suppliers offer their staff accommodation, healthcare facilities and/or healthcare training, while sharing our view that a happy and healthy worker is an efficient, effective and most of all, safe one.
While other suppliers may often be cheaper, we believe that supporting overseas companies who share our values will continue to lift the general standard of the international quarrying industry through stimulation of local economies, which in turn encourages the same kind of regeneration abroad that your own projects are aiming for here at home.
While many of our materials are globally sourced, we are equally sympathetic to growing concerns over the issue of stone sustainability in the UK and Ireland.
It’s our genuinely held belief that imported stone products have their part to play in the debate, specifically with regards to the lifetime cost of natural stone paving, which may still be in use decades after it was first laid.
While a higher level of resources may initially need to be invested into importing stone compared to locally produced concrete paving, the latter’s need for regular repair and replacement should also be taken into account.
It’s also worth remembering that the UK and Ireland’s limited stone resources won’t last forever, and that the use of long lasting, value for money imported stone on these shores might allow us to prolong our own dwindling reserves of indigenous materials for more precious areas of historic value for generations to come.