Sustainable public procurement of natural stone demands a process and cultural shift. This is evident from the interim report about pilot projects drawn up on behalf of the TruStone Initiative. The report provides a large number of recommendations on how contracting authorities can contribute to improvements for people and environmental conditions in supply chains.
Amsterdam has launched a city-wide tender for natural stone. Suppliers can compete for a multi-year blanket order for nine categories of natural stone.
In the past few weeks, three companies have joined the TruStone Initiative. These are the Dutch companies B&S Natuursteen and Steenwerck and the Flemish company VietBlueStone.
In the first week of March a delegation of companies and contracting authorities have visited the region of Telangana in India and engaged in dialogue with local stakeholders (owners/management of natural stones production sites, employers, and local governments.
DKG Group (best known in the Netherlands for Bruynzeel Kitchens and Keller Kitchens) is the 28th signatory to the IRBC TruStone Initiative, raising the number of Dutch signatories to fourteen.
The TruStone Initiative is gaining momentum. At the kick-off event to mark the official start of the implementation phase, practical cases were presented to help the participants with implementing their International RBC policy. In addition, the City of Amsterdam was welcomed as a new participating member.
The multi-stakeholder TruStone Initiative entered into force on October the 1st. The parties have also appointed an independent chairperson for the implementation of the Agreement. This is the next phase of the Netherlands and Flanders collaboration on international responsible business conduct (international RBC) in the natural stone sector.
On Wednesday 22 May, a group of 20 participants of the pilot project on sustainable procurement (MVI) natural stone visited the Carrières du Hainaut quarry in Wallonia. The quarry is one of the largest in Europe. Hard stone is extracted, which is largely used for public space in the Netherlands and Flanders.
On 23 May, participants in the TruStone Initiative and the pilot projects on socially responsible procurement of natural stone met with Indian partners from the NGOs Arisa and Coalitie Stop Child Labour.
The Dutch and Flemish natural stone industry, the Dutch and Flemish governments, NGOs and trade unions have agreed to work together towards more responsible production and procurement of natural stone. The ‘IRBC TruStone Initiative’ came about after extensive discussions led by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands.