Importing companies participating in the initiative will have to carry out a so-called due diligence process within one year of signing. Due diligence is a process by which companies identify and address risks in order to prevent negative effects on society and the environment as a result of their actions. In concrete terms, this means that companies in the natural stone sector systematically investigate whether they themselves are directly, or through the chain of their suppliers or customers, associated with damage that is caused somewhere in the chain to people, animals, nature and the environment. This does not only concern actual damage, but also the risk that damage may occur. Companies that have identified their involvement in damage, or the risk thereof, 4 must take measures against this.

Due diligence is not a one-time action; it is - as part of the operational management - a continuous process. There will be substantial differences between the companies committing to this Initiative and the expectations that exist regarding the due diligence process of these companies. On the basis of the results of the due diligence process, companies will have to draw up their own plan of approach each year. In it they explain how they tackle risks and in which they at least involve the themes that are in the Initiative. They will submit this plan to an independent secretariat for assessment.

The participating companies are not alone in this. The aim of the Initiative is for companies, their industry associations, the government, trade unions and civil society organizations to join forces to tackle the problems together. In addition, there is support from an independent secretariat. When companies perform due diligence, this contributes to improvements in the chain.

The Initiative does not guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong in the supply chain. Well, that problems are solved faster and better. It is important that companies can demonstrate that they have gone through a careful due diligence process, have prioritized their risks in dialogue with their stakeholders and have addressed prioritized risks to the best of their ability.