Why the TruStone Initiative

Above all in Asia, Africa and Latin America, natural stone is often extracted and processed in conditions that violate human rights and labour rights, and cause harm to the environment. The natural stone sector in Flanders and in the Netherlands has taken the joint initiative to tackle this situation.

The natural stone sector in the Netherlands and Belgium comprises several hundred companies specialising in the import and processing of natural stone and natural stone-based products such as (kitchen) worktops, gravestones, monuments, slabs, façade materials and kerbstones.

This is the first time that parties from these two countries have reached joint agreements on this issue.
Society in general and the Dutch and Flemish governments expect businesses to focus attention on International Responsible Business Conduct and sustainable chain management. These requirements are indeed laid down in international guidelines and obligations such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) and the fundamental labour standards from the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The sector in both countries will set to work straight away on mapping out the risks in the production chain and will work together with all parties who support the initiative to actively tackle such problems as child labour, forced labour, restrictions on trade union freedoms and health and safety throughout the value chain.