Firstly, a fact or two for you:
According to the BBC the U.K. produces 12 million tonnes of cement per annum.
The carbon footprint of concrete production is 2.6% of overall emissions. This may seem like a negligible amount but when you look at the total transportation footprint, excluding air travel, and find that it’s 28% it makes you wonder about paving alternatives.
One of the most popular paving options is Indian sandstone.
Mined in India, it is a long lasting natural stone containing minerals and quartz which makes it almost unbeatable in lifespan and aesthetic appeal.
However, with its popularity, high quality and competitive pricing a huge responsibility bore down on the suppliers and retailers.
Concerns were raised about the ethics of sourcing the product and today, the top rated and most reputable garden landscaping materials suppliers will only work with ethical providers who have been handpicked.
This should mean that your Indian sandstone paving is fairly quarried, if you’re in any doubt please double check. You should be as free to enjoy your Indian Sandstone as the workers at the quarry are to have excellent working conditions not exploitation.
It is an uncomfortable fact and one that is being actively reversed, that unethical Indian sandstone mining companies use child labour, some under the age of ten, and they have little legislation so trading is a byword for corruption.
No supplier or customer wants to continue the cycle and buy products, actively rewarding the bad guys. Unethical companies don’t provide safe footwear or protective clothing and they don’t have health and safety qualms so power tools are frequently used by people who need training and are endangering themselves for a pittance to earn a living with no housing or medical care.
So please ensure that when you choose a natural stone paving product, wherever it’s being sourced from, that it carries an ethical history and that no one is suffering. The internet is a marvellous tool but it isn’t always a guarantee of ethical behavior.
This is why paying a visit to an expert, experienced and consciously ethical supplier is worth the effort, you’ll have the best products sourced correctly and when you look at your Indian sandstone paving you won’t have to ask “what if?” about the treatment of the person who sourced your beautiful product for you.
Checking terms and conditions will often give you vital information about a supplier, for example, Rivar Sand and Gravel state the following:
Rivar Sand and Gravel Ltd. is committed to trading relationships which are commercially viable and ethical. We support fair-trade and will only operate with suppliers who comply with our ethical trading policy.
Perfect. This is in line with the ethical trading initiative which has global members including Marshalls, DNS Stones, Marks and Spencer and the IndustriALL trade union.
Please don’t let this article make you wary of Indian sandstone paving because the product is glorious, it’s just a case of being responsible. Thank you for caring.