The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


NSC Sustainability Benchmark Survey: Results and Publications

A number of reports and other informative material will be made available as this project continues. This page provides these documents, specifically:

View and print these by clicking on the links below. These documents are in PDF and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to open. For questions regarding this material, please contact the Center for Clean Products.

LCI Datasets

Life-cycle inventories have been established for granite, limestone, sandstone, and slate quarrying and processing operations. These data will serve a multitude of functions, including the ability to:

  • Characterize the environmental profile of natural stone industry operations by providing an estimate of embodied energy, water consumption, and material resource utilization per ft3 of stone extracted and produced;
  • Identify improvement areas for industry operations;
  • Assist in establishing best practices of industry operations against which improvement can be measured; and
  • Feed material fact sheets and other documents useful for the stone and design communities.

These reports are provided below Note that these documents are updates to earlier versions (v1) posted in August 2008. Changes from v1 are detailed in each report.

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Best Practices

The LCI datasets have been instrumental in illuminating the industry’s improvement areas. In order to communicate these focus points and to provide direction in modifying quarry and processing operations, a series of best practice documents is being generated.

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Case Studies

Using stone products in building applications can produce certain environmental benefits. Real examples are highlighted through case studies to communicate these positive aspects of stone.

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Material Fact Sheets

Designers, architects, and sometimes even researchers, among other audiences, find utility in reference materials that provide a quick overview of a particular topic. Material fact sheets describing specific stone types have been developed to meet this need. The one-page (double-sided) documents are partially fed by the life-cycle inventories and inform the reader about the stone’s natural formation, region(s) of deposits worldwide, physical properties, applicable ASTM standards, as well as environmental and human health considerations.

Life-Cycle Assessment

Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a holistic evaluation of a product’s environmental footprint and can be employed to compare alternative materials’ sustainability profiles. With the data collected by earlier phases of the UT-NSC collaboration, an LCA has been performed to identify the benefits and trade-offs of granite and limestone to some of their competitors, namely aluminum composite panels, brick and mortar, and precast concrete. While the results of the study are indeed informative, it is important to remember that conclusions are valid only within the context of the investigation. The report is provided below.

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Center for Clean Products
Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE)
311 Conference Center Building, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4134
Phone: 865-974-4251 • Fax: 865-974-1838 • Email:


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System