Under the new council certification program, called ANSI/NSC-373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone, six quarries operated by the company were awarded Gold certification and its closely-allied fabrication plant Silver certification after facility inspections by NSF International of Ann Arbor, MI, which also verified the firm's voluminous paperwork application.
The TexaStone quarry.
"This is wonderful," said Brenda Edwards, owner/general manager of the 19-year-old company.
"It was a tough process, but the rewards for our diligence and dedication in exceeding the basic sustainability standards and becoming the first company ever certified to the standards is totally rewarding."
TexaStone quarries and fabricates high-quality limestone that is specified and used by architects, builders and owners throughout the U.S. One of its signature projects was the limestone supplied for the recently completed George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, TX.
The standards cover nine facets of a quarrier and fabricator's operation, with an optional element called "Innovation." The nine include 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.
"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," said Duke Pointer, Executive Director of the Natural Stone Council. "We can now add certified sustainability to the world's oldest building material. Brenda Edwards and the TexaStone team are to be congratulated for achieving this 'first' and we know the ability to use the NSC's Gold and Silver certification seals in marketing will give her company a competitive advantage among those specifiers and users who thoroughly embrace the green movement and are looking for sustainability in the products they utilize in their projects."
There are four levels of certification each for quarriers and fabricators: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each individual entity can be certified individually. The scalability of the program allows companies to reach higher levels than their original designation as they improve their sustainability processes. "Stone quarriers and fabricators in the U.S. and around the world can be certified under ANSI/NSC-373," Pointer said. NSF International, because of their early involvement with the standard will likely be the primary verifier around the world.
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.