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Environmental

Reuse, Reduce and Recycle

Below are some examples of how we have succeeded in making environmentally prudent changes. Some are little things, some more dramatic but all help reduce the use of natural resources, increase sustainability and enhance reusability.

Conversion from Styrofoam Packaging to Recycled Cardboard Packaging:

  • Styrofoam packaging has been the industry standard of packaging and shipping natural stone tile for many years. Thirty years ago no one really understood the negative impact of Styrofoam but today we know better. To learn more click here. Over the last 2 years we have succeeded in converting over 95% of our stone tile suppliers from Styrofoam to cardboard and in many cases post consumer recycled cardboard.

Changed tile shipments from crates to pallets:

  • MSI imports over 200,000 pallets of tile and stone each year. We have succeeded in converting over 90% of our suppliers to change from industry standard wood crates to more environmentally palletized packaging. In the process, MSI has been able to reduce wood usage by over 70% per pallet, and increase the total square footage per pallet, in the process saving thousands of trees annually.

Designed reusable, resizable pallets:

  • With 100's of thousands of pallets coming and going annually, though used several times, most eventually end up at a landfill. When we designed the new pallets for our vendors, we designed them in such a way that a single 40" x 36" pallet can be reused as is or cut down into four 20" x 18" or two 40" x 18" pallets which then can be used when shipping smaller orders. Shipping thousands of small orders every month that don't require a regular sized pallet, we now get up to four times the use from a single pallet.

Energy savings:

  • Switched to energy efficient lighting in all 11 locations wherever possible. Reducing the use of 10's of thousands of kilowatts annually. Electric instead of gas carts to travel within the facilities.

Natural stone products supplied by MSI inherently have environmentally preferable characteristics:

  • It comes from the earth and is inherently eco-friendly.
  • Natural stone has a longer replacement life than all other countertops surfaces
  • It is a preferred sustainable building
  • It is highly regarded for its natural character and stability
  • It is non-toxic and can last for centuries.
  • No chemicals go into its quarrying or fabricating
  • It is easy to care for and maintain
  • It has the environmentally friendly attribute of being recyclable
  • It is pure, and therefore void of any foreign substance that might be harmful to the earth or to your health.
  • MSI’s line of mosaics and wall tile is largely manufactured from stone waste.
  • MSI’s line of iridescent glass is manufactured using recycled glass.

The following case studies highlight these positive attributes of stone and its application as a green building product.

M S International, Inc. (MSI), has obtained the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification and GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification ensuring that all MSI products including natural stone, wall tiles, porcelain, countertops and backsplashes are low-emitting and contribute to healthier indoor environments. The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is an industry-independent, not-for-profit organization that establishes acceptable emissions standards for interior products.

Benefits

  • Products have been proven to emit minimal levels of VOC’s.
  • Independent third party certification.
  • Communicate corporate commitment to product quality with respect to public health.
  • Increase customer confidence.

National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF) certifies that applicable M S International, Inc. (MSI) products conform to the requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 51– Food Equipment Materials. NSF International is an independent non-profit, non-government organization, which is a global leader of public health and safety risk management solutions. They provide product certification and safety audits for the food and water industries.

Material Fact Sheets

Designers are more frequently being asked to identify green building materials but do not always have the needed information. Using the life-cycle data, material fact sheets describing several stone types are being generated to provide useful information in this selection process, among other information. The one-page (double-sided) documents will summarize the current market for stone, regions of deposits worldwide, physical properties, applicable ASTM standards, as well as environmental data and human health considerations.

U.S. Green Building Council / LEED Credits

M S International is a proud member of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Natural Stone currently qualifies for LEED credits in some areas of the program. The USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems to provide a national standard for green building design. This system defines standards for environmentally responsible, healthier, and more profitable structures and awards points to new construction and major renovation projects in five categories.

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

Natural Stone Council

M S International is a member of the Natural Stone Council (NSC). This organization aims to further position Genuine Stone as the preferred sustainable building material by:

  • Using the five key LEED rating system categories as a guide to research, test, and substantiate that stone is a natural choice in building green
  • Working with an advisory council made up of leading green architects, designers, and specification writers with intimate knowledge of Genuine Stone and its uses in building and landscaping
  • Promoting Genuine Stone use through media outreach