Natural Stone Institute Publishes First Industry-Wide Environmental Product Declarations and Health Product Declarations for Natural Stone

Words: Isa Stein

Documentation gives natural stone an advantage in today’s building & construction industry

October 27, 2022 – The Natural Stone Institute has published industry-wide ISO Type III environmental declarations, also called environmental product declarations (EPDs), for three applications of natural dimension stone: Cladding, Flooring/Paving, and Countertops. Also published are 13 Health Product Declarations (HPDs) for natural stone found in 15 MasterFormat® classifications.

An EPD is an independently verified and registered document that quantifies environmental information on the life cycle of a product to enable comparisons between products fulfilling the same function. These EPDs are cradle to grave in scope to define the environmental impacts throughout the entire life cycle, including quarrying, fabrication, installation, care and maintenance, and disposal.

HPDs provide design teams and owners greater transparency of material ingredients and their potential human health impacts. Through a special exception for geological materials, NSI published declarations representative of common stone types used in the dimension stone industry, including granite, marble, quartzite, and limestone. 

Sarah B Gregg, Marketing Director for the Natural Stone Institute and the industry’s leader for sustainability initiatives commented: “The EPDs and life cycle analysis reports will help natural stone to be recognized as a lower-carbon building material. We’re also glad to be able to provide this transparency to help design teams accomplish their green building goals.” Ralph Morgan, Director of Environment and Sustainability for Polycor agreed: “The importance of having EPDs for the natural stone industry can’t be overstated. The terms ‘natural’ and ‘environmentally sustainable’ do not mean the same thing. We now have the independent data to show how using natural stone in projects can provide lower embodied carbon options, providing the building community with the information they want and need.”

Eighteen NSI members participated by contributing their lifecycle data. These members can now use these EPDs to represent their products for green building projects. All NSI members can use the HPDs to represent their products. NSI would like to thank the following companies for their participation:

  • Coldspring
  • Colorado Stone Quarries
  • Continental Cut Stone
  • Cutting Edge Countertops
  • Delgado Stone Distributors
  • Freshwater Stone
  • Independent Limestone Company
  • Ontra Stone Concepts
  • Planet Granite
  • Polycor
  • Quality Stone
  • Royal Bedrock
  • Russel Stone
  • Stone Interiors
  • Stony Creek Quarry
  • Valley View Granite
  • Vermont Quarries
  • Vetter Stone

NSI selected Sustainable Minds® as the EPD program operator because of the company’s innovative EPDs. The SM Transparency Report [EPD]™ provided the technical information required in EPDs and brings that data to life by telling the natural stone sustainability story across the product life cycle. All life cycle data included in the reports is third-party verified by Ecoform, LLC.

“With increasing awareness of the environmental impact of building and construction materials and the demand for transparency, EPDs are becoming a requirement for public and private procurement," said Terry Swack, Founder & CEO, Sustainable Minds. “The Transparency Report [EPD] integrates product transparency with product marketing to drive greener decisions by making environmental performance information easy to understand.Now members have EPDs and HPDs for their products, providing them an advantage in today’s market.”

To celebrate the availability of these new environmental performance and material health reports for natural stone, the Natural Stone Institute and Sustainable Minds will be co-exhibiting at Greenbuild in San Francisco, CA on November 1-3, 2022. Visit booths #1442-1444 to learn more. Find these reports and more in the Sustainable Minds Transparency Catalog™: https://transparencycatalog.com/company/natural-stone-institute

About the Natural Stone Institute

The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing every aspect of the natural stone industry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 nations. The association offers a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org

About Sustainable Minds

Sustainable Minds is the only end-to-end product transparency solutions provider for design & construction today. The company is the first to integrate technical services, and EPD program operation focused on understandable and meaningful environmental performance and material health reporting—with digital and virtual tools to get products into projects. The Transparency Catalog™, the leading source of building & construction products for high performance low embodied carbon buildings, makes it super easy to select, specify, and procure greener and healthier products for high performance buildings—and reward building product manufacturers for making them. For more information, visit transparencycatalog.com and sustainableminds.com.

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