The members of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association identify sustainability as a business approach that integrates environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic prosperity to ensure the long-term supply of aggregates materials to society.  NSSGA recognizes that sustainable practices are necessary today to preserve the potential for a quality life for future generations.  NSSGA members sustain the communities in which they operate by providing raw materials as natural building blocks for quality of life.



In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, 193 countries including the United States concluded that minerals were important to the economic and social development of many countries and social, environmental and economic values were essential considerations for aggregates and mineral operations.

In 2007, NSSGA’s Board of Directors approved NSSGA’s Guiding Principles for Sustainable Aggregates Operations that take a mining life cycle approach to the sustainable contributions of the aggregates industry in each phase of planning, extraction, reclamation and post-mining land use.   Our members are conscious of the need to provide economic, social and environmental value for future generations and the communities in which they operate.



  • Sustainability is a developing issue in the markets where NSSGA members operate.  Public resource agencies are implementing frameworks based on sustainable development.  NSSGA member companies will increase their abilities to compete effectively by implementing sustainability guidelines.
  • The long-term viability of the industry is dependent on obtaining and maintaining a social license to operate. These licenses are based on discretionary decisions by local government bodies that are heavily influenced by political/public opinion.  NSSGA member companies will enhance their ability to obtain these licenses when applying sustainability guidelines.
  • Sustainability emphasizes the efficient use of resources, which reduces costs (by reducing waste) and contributes to profitability.
  • Implementation of sustainability principles can reduce the risk of adverse legal and regulatory actions.
  • Sustainability is an integrated concept.  Implementing sustainability guidelines will help to coordinate and improve the effectiveness of multi-disciplinary groups such as community relations, EH&S, operations and legal in NSSGA member companies.

                                                                                                            Updated:  November 2012

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Sand mining: Growing pains of cross-border trade »

    […] The world’s largest exporter is the United States, which began keeping statistics on sand mining in 1905 and a century later was shipping industrial grade product to almost every region of the world. The value of US production of construction sand and gravel is higher than that of gold or copper production. Collecting production data in many nations is challenging because of varying specifications and the informal nature of some sand-mining businesses. In 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, 193 nations concluded that that sand and other minerals are essential for economic and social development. Sand miners must build good relations with communities, emphasizing sustainability and reducing waste, suggests the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. […]

    August 31, 20172:09 am