Sustainable consumption is an important approach to contribute to fair trade in the natural stone sector. Besides private consumers, public authorities are the most important purchasers of products made of natural stones. Each year German public authorities spend around 16% of the GDP, approximately 360 Billion Euro, for goods and services. Therefore, public authorities should set an example for fair and green public procurement.
Since April 2009, German cities and municipalities can include social and ecological criteria in their tenders. Some cities and municipalities have adjusted their tenders to the new criteria and thus promote social and environmentally friendly products. The German Association of Cities, Munich, Zurich, Basel, many other small municipalities and independent organisations such as the critical consumers’ initiative (Verbraucher Initiative e.V.) recommend Fair Stone.
Often tenders accept self-commitment declarations or simple product markings (company own labels) of bidders. These claims lack independent proof and control measures. Independent label initiatives are the only safe option for socially responsible procurement. Munich is the first city in Germany who only accepts independent certificates - such as Fair Stone - for all publicly procured products. In Switzerland some cities require local stones or Fair Stone material only.
In public tenders usually the offer with the lowest price wins. The investment in fair production conditions signifies higher costs for the Fair Stone Partner. So far most municipalities are not willing to support this engagement. In the long run the importers are only able to finance their commitment if municipalities are willing to pay a slightly higher price for Fair Stone products in construction and landscaping.
The Fair Stone Team is in constant contact with municipalities and informs decision makers about fair procurement. Let us know if your municipality is interested in further information - contact us!
You will find further information and documents in the download section.