A voyage: this is the word that best describes the process enabling Stone Italiana’s products and manufacturing processes to obtain important international certifications. A voyage conducted with careful attention to the silent appeal from the environment for increasing levels of sustainability, and dedicating close scrutiny to market demands, comprising in first place the most primal of emotions: passion.
This can be understood from the words and expression of Paola Dalla Valle, CSO Chief Sustainability Officer at Stone Italiana, as she describes the path that the company has taken and continues to take in order to certify its products in terms of a green outlook, high standards of quality, and exceptional reliability.
An endless path of bureaucracy, meetings, tasks and challenges marked by important milestones that now hallmark Stone Italiana as a company creating innovative, safe and sustainable products.
Food safety: when hygiene is also linked to materials
When considering kitchen worktop materials, there are many technical specifications required, such as high product strength right through to its level of hygiene.
Hygiene is a very important aspect, which the global organization National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has been examining since 1944, providing independent certification for products used in the foods sector in compliance with international standards. NSF 51 is the standard that classifies surface types into two categories: “food zones”, which are areas in direct contact with food or its liquid components, and “splash zones”, which, as the word implies, may be subject to just splashes or spills of liquids from food products. NSF Food Zone certification has been attained for all Stone Italiana collections since 2010, and it is constantly reconfirmed by means of annual surprise inspections in addition to tests on raw materials that also involve suppliers. This ensures the traceability of the raw materials used.
The procedure meets the same high standards that have enabled the company to renew its NSF Food Zone certification from year to year. The use of Stone products in the kitchen and food environment in residential and commercial contexts demonstrates not only the importance of this corporate core business, but also the company’s tangible commitment to manufacturing durable, safe and hygienic products.
Building in an eco-friendly manner
For professionals, choosing to design a building using materials that contribute to the attainment of LEED V4 BD+C certification represents notable added value on the market, and offers Companies an opportunity to fine-tune manufacturing systems that are necessarily increasingly sensitive to the themes of sustainability and energy-saving. But… what is LEED? It is a voluntary certification that can be applied to any type of building designed specifically for the reduction ofCO2 emissions, including improvements in the ecological quality of interiors and the materials used. The programme is based on awarding ‘credits’ divided into macrocategories, which, when totalled together, can attribute four possible building classification levels: Basic, Silver, Gold, Platinum.
After having mapped the compliance characteristics of Stone Italiana products, it was found that all collections contribute to attaining LEED V4 BD+C credits and more specifically in the areas of Process Integration, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environment Quality, and Innovation.
However, LEED certification, which is awarded to the building, also depends to a high degree on the selection of materials manufactured with an eco-friendly approach. This is why it was essential for Stone Italiana to verify the categories of LEED credits in which our products can make a contribution, in order to enable building and architecture professionals to create increasingly sustainable projects.
Sustainability requires responsibility
Since 1979, Stone Italiana’s dedication to innovation and experimentation has underpinned the fundamental goal of manufacturing processes that respect the environment and guarantee the health and safety of the people who work there. The publication of the 2019-2020 Sustainability Report represents a milestone and new point of departure for Stone Italiana.
This comprehensive, in-depth analysis, voluntarily compiled by the ownership, constituted a portrait providing another view of the company, different to that conveyed by the figures on the financial balance sheet. Working in compliance with the principles described in the Sustainability Report means ensuring business continuity with respect to all the parties and stakeholders concerned, such as employees, the local area and the environment.
Every story begins with a statement… of caring for the environment!
Stone Italiana’s voluntary compilation of the EPD – or Environmental Product Declaration – is performed to identify and describe the environmental impact related to our collections throughout their entire life cycle. The EPD is a key tool because it provides partners and customers with transparent, comparable information, verified by an independent organization, regarding the impact of 1 square metre of product from of as many as 13 families in Stone Italiana’s “Quartz” range, in addition to Materia Nuova Cosmolite®.
The stages considered in the analysis initially covered raw material sourcing, transport and production, while in 2021 they were extended to include distribution, use and end of life. Why is EPD important? Because it is one of the most internationally-coveted tools of assessment in architecture and construction, including not onlyCO2 analysis, but also the examination of less familiar values, such as ozone depletion, acidification, eutrophication, etc. EPD enables Stone Italiana to optimize manufacturing processes, reduce costs and waste, and of course to communicate environmental performance clearly, transparently and objectively, throughout the production chain. Last but not least, the Environmental Product Declaration also contributes to theattainment of credits for LEED V4 BD+C sustainability protocols for architectural projects in which our products are used. It also guarantees compliance with Minimum Environmental Criteria (MEC) in Building.
Design’s ecological footprint
By now, we all know the meaning of the phrase “Carbon Footprint”, but how many people know how to measure the real impact of carbon footprint, and therefore CO2 emissions, for the products we use on a daily basis? The CO2 Footprint Communication is the tool that allows us to assess the real environmental impact of a product in terms of global warming, throughout its entire life cycle.
Stone Italiana is committed to manufacturing and operating in harmony with Nature, while also endeavouring to create products in compliance with the principles of beauty and originality that hallmark Italian enterprise. A good example of this corporate approach is offered by the Cosmolite® collection, a range of high-tech slabs consisting entirely of pre-consumer, quartz-free recycled aggregates, whose Carbon Footprint declaration shows that these products have a footprint that is almost 45 percent lower than for other products in the sector.
Choosing Stone Italiana products means working with a business partner that dedicates attention to the increasingly demanding requirements in terms of sustainability, technical specifications and product certification.