We love our stone in Britain. It’s one of the most natural, beautiful and recognisable resources on offer and has been used for thousands of years to keep us dry, safe and warm.
It’s all around us but we take it for granted; just walking past a building we have probably walked past every day without appreciating its beauty or the millions of years it took to create what its built from. Stone really is an amazing sustainable resource that is held, ready and waiting to be used.
So surely, if we are quarrying something as natural as stone, we have an obligation to make sure the process of supplying it is as sustainable as possible.
Our main quarry in Purbeck, sits at the top of a hill overlooking the glorious Corfe Castle and as a result, attracts snow, sleet, rain fog but fortunately also lots of sun. In ‘light’ of this we installed PVs on top of our tile factory roofs and since then, these have been generating a steady amount of electricity; a massive 314,640 Kwh to date!
We also harvest rain water and have installed a state-of-the-art filter press; enabling us to recycle all the water used during the sawing process in a closed system. The filter press removes production ‘waste’ from the water in the form of a lime cake, which is then given to the local farmers free of charge for grassland improvement. Off cuts of our stone are also crushed to produce aggregate which is used for farm tracks and roads for haulage amongst other things.
At our Bowden’s quarry on the Somerset Levels, we installed a PV solar energy in December 2011 and since then, its generated an impressive 280,600 kwh of electricity, of which in excess of 150,000 Kwh has been pumped back into the grid. That’s enough electricity to power 50 average size UK houses for a whole year!
Within our Purbeck quarry we have, for many years, planted broadleaf woodlands to restore and even improve the natural beauty of the surrounding area, with over 4 acres already planted.
The nature of underground quarrying means that Hartham Park Bath Stone already has a lower impact on the environment than open-cast quarries. However, since taking over the ‘mine’ we have continually looked at mitigating any impacts further. This includes an ongoing process of replacing diesel machinery with cleaner electrical machinery, and also installing improved and more energy efficient ventilation systems.
We are always thinking about ways in which, as a company, we can reduce our carbon footprint and make our business as sustainable as the products we supply. We have a commitment to give something back and would always encourage others to do the same.