Natural Stone Council Updates Sustainability Standard

Natural Stone Council (NSC) updates sustainability standard to align with evolving green building programs.
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The Natural Stone Council—a collaboration of natural stone trade associations to promote the use of natural stone in commercial, residential, government, institutional, educational, and all types of applications interior and exterior—is proud to announce updates to the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard (ANSI/NSC 373).

“Five years ago, the voluntary natural stone sustainability standard was adopted, and companies in the stone industry have shown tremendous support by certifying and giving design teams more options for what they’ve asked—certified, sustainably produced stone,” says Duke Pointer, Executive Director of the NSC. “As the building and design market continues to demand greener and more sustainably produced materials, green building programs evolve to meet the rising needs. Updates to the natural stone certification reflect the stone industry’s commitment to aligning with evolving green building programs.”

NSF International’s National Center for Sustainability Standards facilitated the standard’s development, including revisions, and published the updated standard in August 2019. The 2019 updates address a broad scope of issues including water, site management, land reclamation and adaptive use, corporate governance, management of excess process materials, and innovation.

Updates to the standard also address a wider range in variability of operations, natural stone dimensional deposits, and regulatory requirements across the country. The ANSI/NSC 373 joint committee, comprised of members from a cross-section of stakeholders within and outside of the stone industry, worked to update the standard with input from task groups. Along with the updates, the committee has reenergized its efforts to educate the design community about using the standard.

“The heart of ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone is continuous improvement,” says Kathy Spanier, Marketing Director of Coldspring and Chair of the NSC’s Sustainability Committee. “With the standard being in the market for about five years, we took feedback from certified companies as well as input from key green building programs to make necessary updates and ensure relevance.”

First issued in 2014, the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard establishes criteria and methods for tracking, measuring and improving sustainability in the production of natural stone, long regarded for its durability and resiliency.

“Natural stone is one of the best building products we have from an environmental perspective, and the NSC’s response to feedback from the green building industry with updates to the stone standard demonstrates their commitment to continual improvement,” says Jason F. McLennan, author of the Living Building Challenge.

The standard aligns with materials and resource credits for LEED v.4 and Living Building Challenge projects. It applies to all processors of natural stone, from quarry operators to final stone fabricators.

“The stone industry is dedicated to aligning with the continually evolving marketplace,” says Pointer. “As further changes come, we’ll continue our efforts to respond.”

To access the standard and find a full list of certified stones and how to source them, visit www.naturalstonecouncil.org/sustainability

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