The “risk” and “opportunity” for natural stone industry under the environmental protection

In the traditional sense, the natural stone industry has always been the saboteur of environment. The three-harmful industry’s hat: “high pollution, high energy consumption and high emissions” has been covered since the beginning of the stone industry.

As early as July 2015, after the “Environmental Protection Supervision Program” reviewed and approved at the 14th meeting of the Central Committee for Comprehensive Deepening Reform, the Environmental Protection Inspector Group slammed a fierce environmental storm across the country. At the same time, local governments have vigorously carried out environmental remediation actions in line with the attitude of “heavy boxing on pollution control” and “zero tolerance to environmental pollution”. Under the environmental protection hammer, news of rectification and suspension of production by various local enterprises has emerged in an endless stream. As if the wind of environmental protection spreads all over the country overnight, the stone industry is fundamentally affected.

Xiamen Shuitou is the No. 1 town in China’s natural stone production, and the aggregating of thousands of stone workshops can be called a microcosm under the general environment of China’s natural stone industry. The local government has carried out special actions for the rectification of environmental protection, and inspectors run at an unprecedented speed and intensity. It has carried out high-frequency deployment and strong promotion of rectification work.


Collected data shows that since the first special rectification promotion meeting of natural stone industry in Shuitou Town, more than 200 “Tri-None” stone factories in the jurisdiction of Shuitou Town, as well as the medium and large scale factories have been investigated and punished.  It is reported that in only 2-3 months, the Guanshui Stone area has shut down nearly 400 stone factories, of which 20 are large-scale enterprises. According to the relevant person in charge of the government office, environmental protecting inspection will be normalized. In the future, they will be stricter.

Economy experts believe that the beginning stage of all traditional industries always starts with extensive primitive operating, but as the economy develops to a certain stage, the balance of social resource allocation will inevitably tilt, and high-quality enterprises will obtain more resources and develop faster, while those enterprises lacking of resources and self-disciplined will be the targets of punishment in terms of the environment pollution.


Transformation: Where is the road?

The rectification is an opportunity. Now, in front of these small workshops, there are three ways to choose: exiting, transforming or transferring to Inland, but each way is hard.

It is foreseeable that the focus of this environmental rectification revolution must be a technological innovation. Such as drawing on foreign advanced natural stone industry models and technologies, combining with China’s local conditions, intensify innovation, adopting new technologies, new processes and new equipment in production. Then natural stone industry can develop a sustainable growing model.


Machine: Upgrading in the name of environmental protection.


Environmental protection and rectification are challenge. As a heavy investment industry, the stone industry is inevitable in taking a certain amount of pain in environmental protection. Remediation of pollution in the natural stone industry, such as limited production and other tough means. At present, the national economy has entered a new standard, from the extensive quick growth model to the intensive balanced development model, and the stone industry is also undergoing transformation and upgrading.

Undoubtedly, this reorganization is a good opportunity to adjust the industrial structure. Moreover, only by taking the road of sustainable development, the stone industry can go higher and further. “Environmental protection” is one of the future development trends of the stone industry. Both environmental protection benefits and economic benefits are indispensable.  How to balance the relationship between the two points, requires the consideration of the politicians and policy makers, and also requires more consideration from stone people.

According to industry people, the future environmental protection law enforcement will be stricter. This is the trend and no need to be surprised. For stone enterprises that have passed the environmental protection inspection, they will not be suffering such environmental protection pressure any more.

It is important to completely abandon the gamble of lucky, and determined to invest heavily in a comprehensive and thorough improvement. However, as far as the current stage is concerned, many stone enterprises have expressed pressure. Especially in an environment where the market continues to be sluggish and inventory pressure is high, and this environmental protection has been rectified, it has to continue to increase environmental protection investment, which will make the production and operation of the company even worse. However, if the company is not willing to invest, without improving in environmental protection, sooner in one day, the company will eventually lose the opportunity of environmental remediation, and their market share will be eliminated out.