Building sustainable in the area of pedestrian zones, city squares and marketplaces means building with natural stones. This natural building material does not have to be manufactured, the entire earth crust consists of natural stone. After the dismantling, only the processing takes place, without further raw materials or energy-intensive production steps. A huge advantage - especially - compared to concrete blocks, the basic material cement of which is responsible for around 8% of global CO₂ emissions¹. An average of 600 kg of CO₂ equivalents is emitted per ton of cement produced². This corresponds to the same amount that a car emits over 3000 km (gasoline engine 7l / 100 km). The production of clinker bricks, on the other hand, requires a great deal of energy during the burning process.
Since 2003, BESCO has been active in Germany and Europe as a natural stone project supplier from Berlin and supplies natural stone for large projects. Our motivation is to make the fascination of natural stone tangible for all project participants through tailor-made solutions, collected project expertise and ongoing commitment. With our belgrano® natural stone, we offer the freedom for individual project ideas from design planning to acceptance. Our natural stones are produced on a project-specific basis and delivered just-in-time from the factory in Asia or Southern Europe by container directly to the construction site.
acting responsibly – fair trade is also possible with natural stone
As a medium-sized family company, we not only care about the well-being of our employees and their families, but also that of our producers and their employees.
Unfortunately, it is a recurring topic to this day that Asian natural stone may be extracted in violation of human rights. That is why BESCO has been committed to improving the social and environmental standards of natural stone imports from Asia since 2009 in cooperation with WiN = WiN Fair Stone. The cornerstones of the “Fair Stone” standard are compliance with the core labor standards (including without child and forced labor), measures for the safety and health of workers and adaptation to current environmental protection measures.
trust is good – control is a win for everyone
In order to guarantee the contractually defined standards, all of our production facilities certified by WiN = WiN are regularly checked by independent auditors (e.g. TÜV Rheinland) and supported in their implementation. This also applies to training on occupational safety and environmental protection, for example. The standards cover the entire production process, from the quarry to the finished product.
In addition, we have an in-house 4-person inspection team in China. This checks the agreed quality and the tolerances of our products on a daily basis and monitors compliance with the ILO (International Labor Organization) conventions in all Asian belgrano® productions.
fair production conditions and socio-ecological commitment
In addition to compliance with international labor and human rights standards, CO₂ emissions also play an increasingly important role when transporting natural stone. Locally produced materials certainly have an advantage in terms of the CO₂ balance, but the quarrying of natural stone is not welcomed everywhere in Germany, which means that the annual demand cannot be met nationally. Another disadvantage of many German natural stones, in addition to their limited permanent use in inner-city areas, is their low color variance, to the chagrin of creative planners and architects.
In Spain and Portugal the geological and topographical conditions are different. In many regions there are lush granite deposits directly under thin layers of soil. This enables the rocks to be mined with the least possible interference with nature. The occurrences in Spain and Portugal offer less variation in color than Chinese occurrences, but they are available at very short notice.
take responsibility into your own hands
In order to make an active contribution to climate protection and to equate southern European or Asian natural stone in terms of CO₂ balance with German natural stone, we have decided to offset the CO₂ emissions caused by the transport of our natural stone in cooperation with myclimate.
BESCO also plays a pioneering role among natural stone suppliers when it comes to CO₂ compensation. With our partner myclimate, we support climate protection projects that meet the highest standards (CDM, Gold Standard, Plan Vivo) and thus contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Just like the collaboration with WiN = WiN Fair Stone, this is based on a voluntary basis. Other retailers invent their own labels without having them checked by independent testing bodies.
Unfortunately, the public sector often does not take it as seriously as it is often portrayed externally. That is not good for the matter and it shifts competition. We therefore advocate binding regulations at the national, or even better, at the European level in order to create clear competitive conditions.
create uniform standards for everyone
At BESCO, we are actively involved in public discourse to ensure that fair trade conditions and CO₂ compensation are prescribed for all natural stone imports. Only in this way can we as a society reconcile sustainability, social justice and economic development.
1 WWF Germany, 2019. Climate protection in the concrete and cement industry
2 Mettke, A., 2020. Climate killer concrete? [Interview] (March 17, 2020).
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