Violations of human and labour rights and environmental damage are commonplace in natural stone quarries around the world. In the TruStone initiative, companies work together with trade unions, NGOs and governments to bring about improvements in the countries of origin of natural stone. As in previous years, the civil society partners in TruStone analysed the commitment of the participating companies in 2023 on the basis of publicly available information.
[Click here to view our analysis of the action plans or participating TruStone companies (only available in Dutch)]
Analysis of the action plans of the companies participating in TruStone
The evaluation of the action plans of the participating companies by the SER secretariat can be found on the TruStone website (action plans of the companies). The participating trade unions and NGOs, including Arisa, made their own independent analysis of all the public information. These are our main findings.
Things that are going well
The positive developments that we have noted are as follows:
- There is progress in the development of international social responsibility (ISR) policy.
- There is more insight into the supply chain (both quarries and factories).
- There has been increased participation in projects by companies and buyers, especially in the areas of child labour prevention and safe and healthy work.
Areas for improvement
There are also some things that need to be improved:
- Payment of the living wage is lagging behind. This means that workers are currently unable to make ends meet.
- There is a lack of trade union freedom in the countries of origin of natural stone.
And while new companies continue to join TruStone, to our surprise, one of the largest importers of natural stone in the Netherlands (Michel Oprey & Beisterveld in Vianen) recently withdrew from the covenant. The civil society organisations involved in Trustone deeply regret that one of the largest importers in the Netherlands has taken this step when many others are taking their responsibilities. As far as we are concerned, Michel Oprey & Beisterveld should rejoin TruStone 2.0. There will be European regulations in this area in the future, and waiting for them is not a good attitude towards the obvious problems and risks in the sector.
Covenant extended by 6 months for now
2024 would have been the last year of the TruStone initiative, but talks are already underway about continuing the covenant. In December 2023 it was decided to extend the covenant by at least six months, until March 2025. Companies and customers continue to join TruStonet, which is certainly a positive development.
Source of information, watchdog and active participant
Arisa participates in the TruStone initiative. Arisa contributes to the mapping of labour and human rights risks in the natural stone chain and actively participates in various improvement projects. Arisa also monitors the progress of the pact.