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Marshalls plc is hosting a Sustainability Summit on 16 November 2006, as part of a major campaign to educate consumers, trade and industry about the issues of sustainable hard landscaping.
The campaign comes in response to the growing awareness about imported Indian natural sandstone coming into the UK market – which is less expensive than UK sourced natural Yorkstone, yet is often from highly unethical sources.
Many quarries in India have been found to operate using child labour, dangerous working conditions, corrupt trading practices and disastrous environmental management, as highlighted in a recent report on sandstone quarrying in Budhpura: http://www.indianet.nl/budhpura.pdf.
Says Chris Harrop, Group Marketing Director of Marshalls plc, “It’s clear that the time has come to act fast – before our own domestic patios and terraces bear the weight of a social, environmental and economic catastrophe in the developing world. So Marshalls is committed to helping consumers ensure that our gardens have fair foundations.”
While being the UK's leading hard landscape transformation company, Marshalls is also a company committed to sustainable best practice. As a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and the FTSE 4 Good, Marshalls ensures that all natural sandstone suppliers are audited against the nine point ETI base code by an independent third party.
Now Marshalls aims to drive the wider debate on sustainable landscapes - and contribute towards social, economical and environmental progress in this field. The Marshalls for Sustainability programme aims to highlight sustainability issues that affect the hard landscaping market.
The first key event in the Marshalls for Sustainability programme is the Sustainability Summit on 16 November 2006 at Pines Calyx. Marshalls chose Pines Calyx for the inaugural summit, as it is the UK’s first sustainable conference venue: an inspiring, cliff top conference venue with ground-breaking environmental architecture, located on the Kent coast in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The Summit at Pines Calyx will be situated within the inspirational surroundings of an organically managed six acre Pines Garden. Pines Calyx conference venue is described as a ‘nutritious’ building, working alongside and serving the natural systems of its landscape whilst offering the optimum in healthy interior environments for its occupants, ideal for working and learning.
The Marshalls for Sustainability Summit will be attended by leaders in the fields of sustainability, garden design, environmental conscious building, green guides and professional associations, all of whom have a key role to play in setting the sustainable hard landscapes agenda for 2007.
A series of half hour perspectives will be offered on behalf of: academics, manufacturers, designers and installers, as well as insights from industry and the consumer audience. The Summit will focus on the perspectives of the people and bodies that influence choice and key issues facing the hard landscaping industry. These perspectives will provide the basis for discussion and debate to ensure that key concerns about sustainability are addressed in 2007.