At a time, when almost every business or brand has started a campaign to safeguard human rights and the environment, the natural stone industry is no different.  Since the extraction of natural stone is related to mining and quarrying and involves the use of manpower during the process. In recent times, ethical sourcing has become a major part of any organization’s working philosophy. For natural stone manufacturers in India and other countries, having an ETI certification is considered a testament that companies pay heed to ethical business conduct.

Polish Machine

What is the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)?

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a global collaboration of corporations, trade unions, and non-governmental organizations that advocates worker rights. Our goal is for a society in which all workers are free of exploitation and discrimination and have access to freedom, security, and fairness.

Global supply chains are extremely complicated and difficult for organizations devoted to ethical commerce. Workers’ rights concerns are frequently complex and extensive, and they are best addressed via collective action. We use our alliance members’ knowledge, talents, and resources to identify these challenges and develop innovative, long-term solutions. Our performance is measured by workers’ ability to effectively bargain for a better working life in which their rights are respected.

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What is Ethical Sourcing?

The incorporation and promotion of labor rights in procurement procedures is referred to as ethical sourcing.

The goal of ethical sourcing is to guarantee that people in global value chains are treated fairly, have excellent working conditions, and have the ability to exercise their rights and voice their concerns without fear of retaliation. Companies must collaborate with their natural stone suppliers to enforce international labor standards throughout their value chains.

Stone importers and suppliers may assist improve the labor conditions and lives of workers in the quarries, stockyards, and processing companies that comprise their supply chain by adopting shared responsibility and cooperating.

The Value of Ethical Sourcing

The natural stone supply chain is getting increasingly complicated as more stone is imported from developing nations such as China and India.

Approximately 68 percent of stone imported into the United Kingdom comes from Asia, with Indian stone accounting for the lion’s share (Stone Statistics, 2011).

Reports of terrible working conditions at Rajasthan’s natural stone manufacturers and quarry owners, which supply sandstone to the worldwide market, underscore the need for stakeholders to work together to improve labor standards across the value chain.

How Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) works?

This system is aimed at enhancing working situations and labor values across the natural stone supply chain.

Ethical Trading Framework

Does ETI impact the cost of the natural stone?

Yes, ethical stone sourcing does cost more money. When you go a bit further, it becomes clear that sourcing responsibly provides long-term benefits for the buyer, the person who manufactures the stone, and society in general. For the consumer, ethically sourced stone from top-notch natural stone manufacturers and suppliers is created to higher quality standards and hence provides better value during the product’s life cycle. It’s also realistic to anticipate that ethically sourced stone will benefit from the other advantages of a professional supply chain, such as dependability, effective communication, and careful packing.

In an ethical supply chain, a worker creating stone may expect to be paid a decent wage and to be able to work-appropriate hours in safe and sanitary working circumstances. This is advantageous to the individual worker’s health as well as the long-term health and social welfare of his or her family. In terms of society as a whole, a society that appropriately prioritizes the welfare of all its members is a better environment for everyone.

Do natural stone buyers really care about ethics?

In our experience, when it comes to natural stone, ethics are not at the top of a client’s priority list. It’s not due to a lack of concern. Nobody wants to buy things that have been made without concern for human wellbeing, whether it is a natural stone, coffee, or clothing. It all boils down to educating and raising awareness. Clients would be considerably more able to make an informed selection about which stone to purchase if they knew more about how the stone was manufactured. This is where landscapers and designers may really shine. Landscapers and designers may empower their customers with the information they need to make an educated decision by talking to them as often as possible.

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