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Sustainable Natural Stone Working Group becomes  TFT Responsible Stone Program

Dekker Natuursteen was a member of the Sustainable Natural Stone Working Group (WGDN) and has adopted the WGDN code of conduct which contains standards for the natural stone production process.

In response to mounting ethical concerns, a Quarry Working Group (QWG) was inaugurated in July 2007. In 2012, the QWG merged with the Working Group on Sustainable Natural Stone (Werkgroep Duurzame Natuursteen - WGDN), a Dutch-based group of retailers and manufacturers. The newly-named TFT Responsible Stone Program brings together both initiatives and has members across Europe and beyond.

Ethical and environmental concerns exist about how natural stone is quarried, processed and traded. Many quarry owners have little awareness of the environmental impacts of quarrying leading to deforestation, pollution of ground water and failed rehabilitation of abandoned quarries. In addition, media reports have highlighted labour abuses and other social issues in the quarried stone industry.

The group consists of:

  • Retailers
  • Construction companies
  • Importers of quarried stone
  • Other interested stakeholders

The approach of the Responsible Stone Program is one of looking for pragmatic standards, expecting continuous gradual improvement and offering practical assistance and tools.

Dekker Natuursteen makes sure that its suppliers and the suppliers to its suppliers recognize the code of conduct. The company is currently working with the TFT to persuade as many of its suppliers as possible to gradually introduce the code of conduct.

More information can be found on the website of TFT: http://www.tft-earth.org/