NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone

The Sustainability Standard for Natural Stone

The ANSI/NSC 373 standard examines and verifies numerous areas of natural stone production; effectively improving the baseline for the environmental performance of natural stone. And...

  • Recognizes and drives sustainability practices in the natural dimension stone industry.
  • Establishes a set of well-defined environmental, ecological, social responsibility and human health metrics through a multi-stakeholder, science-based approach, recognized by the green building movement as an indicator of leadership in sustainability performance.
  • Provides an important opportunity to educate key members of the design and building professions, end users, government, and environmental advocacy groups about the production of natural dimension stone products.

What Makes Natural Stone Sustainable

Water

minimal fresh water use in processing and ensuring good quality of water being released back to the environment

Energy

energy efficient operations with low carbon impacts

Custody & Transportation

efficiency of the transportation & handling of stone

Chain of Custody

an unbroken chain of certified organizations from quarry to the end user

Chemicals & Materials

safe management of chemicals within operations and avoidance of red list chemicals

Excess Materials

low amounts of excess processed material and solid waste that goes into landfills

Innovation

promoting continuous improvement and transformation of the industry

Site Management

site-specific measurement plans to ensure responsible management of environmental impacts

Land Reclamation

responsible and sustainable reclamation of quarry sites once operations have ceased

Human Health & Safety

plans to ensure that workers are provided with a safe and healthy work environment

Corporate Governance

social responsibility through work place regulations and employee/ community programs

How to Use the Standard

Leed v4

ANSI/NSC 373 is a USGBC approved program meeting CSR (corporate sustainability report) requirements. Credits can be earned through LEED v4 in the following areas:

>Material and Resources Building Product Disclosure & Optimization

>Sourcing of Raw Material Raw Material Source & Extraction Reporting

>>7.1. Site Management Plan

>>7.2. Enhanced Site Management Planning

>>>>7.2.1. Site Management- Ecosystem

Living Building Challenge

Under the Materials petal of the Living Building Challenge, lies the Responsible Industry imperative which requires a third-party certified standard for sustainable resource extraction and fair labor practices. For stone, project teams must advocate to quarries and/or manufacturers of all dimension stone products used within the project for certification under the ANSI/NSC 373 Standard.

Continuing Education

A credit-earning continuing education course is available for architects, landscape architects, and interior designers to learn all about the ANSI/NSC 373 sustainability standard and what the natural stone industry is doing to improve the baseline for the environmental performance of natural stone.

On-Demand through the Natural Stone University

In Person through Natural Stone Institute’s Speakers Bureau

Become Certified

ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone and Natural Stone Council Chain of Custody standards use a four-tiered rating system created in a mechanism that differentiates natural dimension stone companies that demonstrate environmental leadership through commitment to sustainable operations and continued innovation. The first step to becoming certified is to purchase the standard through this website.

  • ANSI/NSC373-Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone Standard
  • Chain of Custody Standard
  • Guidance for Conformance Document

Where to Find Certified Natural Stone

Quarries

The colors of stone listed below are available from NSC 373 Certified Quarries. Other finishes and applications are available; please contact the quarrier through the links provided for more information.

Fabricators

In order for a color/quarry to comply with green building standards, it needs to connect with the chain of custody through a certified fabricator.

Why the Standard is Important

aaron-hicken-round
It’s the right thing for the environment.

Certifying to the NSC 373 standard gave us an opportunity to identify changes that reduce our carbon footprint without reducing productivity.  For example, when we completed our chemical inventory for the standard we found that we, along with most stone companies, were using dozens of carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic chemicals that were very harmful to our employees.

- Aaron Hicken, Delta Stone Products

rob-teel-round
It’s the right thing for the industry.

The natural stone industry is behind other building products in the green building world.  We desperately need to embrace the NSC 373 Sustainability Standard as an industry in order to better position ourselves and our products.  I believe it is critical that we tell our story through certification so that we can show our competitive advantage over other materials, especially man made imitations.

- Rob Teel, Continental Cut Stone

tom-cleveland-round
It’s the right thing for your bottom line.

We have been awarded jobs based on our certification – it is that simple.  Architects & designers have made it clear that they value our certification and that it is a key differentiator for our stone.  They can now use our granite as a qualified material for either their LEED or Living Building Standard applications which has brought us into more important jobs and at a higher level of consideration.

- Tom Cleveland, Stony Creek Quarry

brenda-edwards-round
It’s the right thing for the industry.

There are so many variances in the way natural stone is quarried and fabricated, that this standard was a must. The NSC 373 Standard gives the industry  well-defined environmental, ecological, human health and social responsibilities metrics which are recognized by the green building movement as an indicator of leadership in sustainable performance.

- Brenda Edwards, TexaStone Quarries

kathy-spanier-round
It’s the right thing for the environment.

While the sustainability of natural stone as a building material remains unquestioned with regard to its longevity, beauty and durability this new standard expands the meaning. How the stone is quarried, processed, and transported is now incorporated into the definition. This standard aims to reassure everyone from designers to owners to material manufacturers, all the way to the end user of the project that the material they are using has been sustainably sourced, both environmentally and socially.

- Kathy Spanier, Coldspring

greg-osterhaut-round
It’s the right thing for your bottom line.

As part of our certification efforts we observed  an excessive amount of equipment idling.  This careless practice cost the company a significant amount of fuel and engine wear across our entire fleet.  We created an anti-idling policy that included educating our employees on the cost of excessive idling, adding anti-idling signage in cabs, and in most cases installing auto shut down timers on our large diesel equipment.  The efforts have greatly reduced idling and saved the company fuel and engine wear.  Good for the environment and our bottom line.

- Greg Osterhout, Northern Stone Supply