Stone Column

Time to start promoting green practices

November 1, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
I realize that the term “Green Building” is more than a bit overused these days — to the point that it is almost a cliché, in my opinion. But the fact of the matter is that consumers are demanding it more and more. They don’t want to just show off their new kitchen to their neighbors; they also want to show them just how ecologically friendly they are.

So how does this trend affect members of the stone industry? In terms of large-scale stone production, the Natural Stone Council is working on an ANSI Dimensional Stone Standard for Sustainability. While this initiative focuses primarily on quarrying activities and larger processing plants, it is important that all members of the stone industry know that a sustainability standard for stone is in the works. That way, you have an educated reply ready when a homeowner asks, “Don’t they blow up mountains to make stone?” To read more about the sustainability standard and the Natural Stone Council, visit naturalstonecouncil.org and click the “Stone and Sustainability” link — or better yet, send your customers there.

But going beyond the stone industry’s efforts for sustainability on a global level, there are plenty of conservation practices taking place in local stone fabrication shops that should be promoted to consumers. Starting on page 42 of this issue, members of the Stone Fabricators Alliance discuss some of the green practices taking place in their operations — including the shop as well as the offices.

Water recycling is a common thread among the fabricators taking part in the discussion, and all of them have treatment systems in place. While this provides a practical benefit in terms of reduced utility costs, it should also be promoted to consumers as an example of running a green operation. “We recycle our water in a closed-loop system, so there is no discharge in the sewer or ground,” explained Carmine Pantano of Frank’s Marble & Granite in Red Lion, PA. “When we walk our customers through our shop, we explain the water treatment system, and they usually are very impressed by that.”

Another issue is the utilization of scrap stone, and several of the fabricators taking part in the discussion had specific ways of addressing the issue — from crushing material for aggregate uses to using scraps as pavers, stepping stones and even a statue base at a local memorial.

Company vehicles are another very public way for a fabrication shop to show that it is environmentally friendly. One of the discussion participants pointed out that his diesel trucks get superior fuel economy and burn ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel for a cleaner burn and less pollution. Another uses two Smart Cars for its measuring team to travel in. This not only saves fuel costs for the owner, but the brightly decorated vehicles (see page 44) advertise the shop and scream “eco-friendly” to anyone who sees them.

I’ve said many times before that most fabrication shops seem hesitant to toot their own horn, and it seems that is the case when it comes to promoting green practices. “Unfortunately, we do not convey this type of information to our clients — yet,” said Dan Riccolo of Morris Granite in Morris, IL. “This discussion certainly has made me realize that we do a great deal involving the green movement than I initially realized. I think we can use this to our sales advantage.”

His comments would likely apply to most of the fabrication shops out there, and it is time to start promoting your green practices, and as Riccolo said, use them to your advantage.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Michael Reis

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.

THE MAGAZINE

Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD_Spring2014_Cover.jpg

2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!

  

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTube