The next time you are tapping a lump of Indian Sandstone into place, secure in the knowledge that the stone has been ethically sourced by your supplier, stop and consider the wider environmental implications.
Yes, manufacturers and importers may well be doing their best to ensure child labour isn't used in their quarries and that working conditions are as good as they can be
But how many landscapers, designers and specifiers actually consider the the wider implications of the supply chain?
I watched BBC South Today programme last evening. The programme focussed on the health of people living close to sea ports. I couldn't take in what I heard.
Whilst a ship is in port it continues to run its engines so as to maintain electrical power. In doing so, the pollution a ship chucks out is so far in excess of anything that motor cars emit. In the case of just one ship, we are talking millions of cars to eject the same pollution.
This morning I did a little digging into the scale of the pollution caused by shipping. It is reported that it takes just 15 ships to emit the same pollution as all the cars in the world. That's just mind boggling in the extreme.
There's already a huge problem with respiratory disorders at the foreign quarries that supply stone for the UK landscaping market, now it appears that there's a potential double whammy in the respect that people are being affected in the areas that this stone is unloaded.
So what can we as an industry do about this?
Import less stone and use stone that is actually quarried on the UK mainland?
Use indigenous stone that is within a reasonable transporting distance of a landscaping project?