Sustainably sourced natural slate products

At SSQ, we take our environmental responsibility extremely seriously. Our mining and slate production processes are designed to limit environmental impact and reduce any associated carbon emissions. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do, and we always ensure that our activities adhere to our founding principles. At SSQ we:

  • • Only work with quarries who share our commitment to using environmentally friendly methods
  • • Strive to reduce waste material production wherever possible
  • • Minimise transport emissions through well-planned logistical networks
  • • Ensure all SSQ employees are trained in the latest environmental protection practices
  • • Promote transparent working by allowing public access to our environmental policies
  • • Endorse the concept of reducing our environmental footprint
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Natural slate for a more sustainable future

Natural slate is, perhaps, the greenest roofing material available today. It is formed through hundreds of millions of years of geological processes and contains zero synthetic substances or chemicals.

Bolingbroke House

Material comparison

At SSQ, we have spent decades researching and developing our slate production processes. SSQ slate such as Spanish Slates, has some of the lowest levels of embodied carbon of any construction material. When compared to other roofing materials, slate has by far the lowest carbon footprint. In terms of CO² emissions, the most popular roofing materials differ significantly.

Material CO² emissions per kilo
Slate 0.005
Concrete 0.19
Clay 0.43
SSQ Domiz close up

Environmentally friendly production

When compared to other roofing materials, natural slate requires very little processing. Low power electric diamond cutters are used to quarry the material with much of the slate splitting still done by hand. Although quarrying natural slate does have an impact on the natural environment, it is nowhere near as damaging as the kilns used to process clay tiles or the chemicals involved in concrete production.

Once deplete of resources SSQ slate quarries are often used for outdoor pursuits such as rock climbing and lake diving. Any waste materials or off-cuts can also be used as slate chippings for driveways or patio areas or as crazy paving. This focus on limiting environmental impact in innovative ways makes slate an industry leading material in the fight against climate change.

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SSQ sustainability accreditations

Third-party accreditations help our customers to understand our commitment to sustainability. They ensure that we are continuously striving to find new and better ways of producing building materials with as little environmental impact as possible.

At SSQ, we have a gold standard Carbon offset certificate for our work with the East Africa Borehole Project, and are currently in the process of being added to the BREEAM green book. We also have the ISO 14001 environmental standards certification for our main partners in Spain.

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Carbon Neutral Certificate
SSQ BRE Global

SSQ are BRE Global Verified

SSQ Riverstone slate has received a statement of verification from BRE Global Limited. This accreditation is in accordance with the requirements of EN 15804:2012+A1:2013. It verifies that the Environmental Declaration provided by SSQ is in accordance with the above legislation and also meets the requirements of the BRE Global Scheme Document SD207.

This accreditation covers the life cycle of Riverstone slates from their extraction in the Riverstone quarry through transportation, cutting, packaging, delivery, and installation. The stringent guidelines used by BRE Global Limited ensure that all Riverstone slates are produced with a focus on reducing environmental impact at all stages.

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Longevity and weather performance

One of the most important sustainability considerations is the life expectancy of a building material. Roof replacements and repairs create carbon emissions which impact the environment, so the longer a material lasts, the better its green credentials. On average, natural slate can last more than three times longer than other roofing materials. That’s over 100 years, and in many cases, longer than the life expectancy of the building on which it’s installed.

Finally, natural slate has outstanding weather resistance capacity. It is extremely resistance against heat, wind, rain, snow, and ice and can withstand some of the harshest weather conditions in the world. When independently tested for its environmental impact, natural slate scored the highest overall Green Rating of ‘A’ under BREEAM assessment testing criteria.

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Langley Prep School


The choice of slates was made easier due to the quality of product you provide and the support of Gary Firth throughout the process – which I much appreciate. Gary is a good ambassador for your company.

Pat Murray, Senior Project Engineer, Alvance Group


SSQ Rocaber Blue-grey slate was actually chosen at the initial design-concept stage. A natural slate roof was in keeping with the traditional local architecture.

Tom Ewan, Architect at Model Developments


The choice of SSQ Del Carmen was made easier after confirmation that it had gained approval for use in the Welsh National Parks as an alternative to indigenous materials. We were also pleased with the level of technical, design and on-site support we received from SSQ.

The Hafod Renewal Office


SSQ Matacouta slate was chosen as the most sympathetic option. Its consistency and competitive price make it a clear winner over indigenous slates.

Historic Scotland


We specified SSQ First Domiz Blue-grey roofing slate for both technical and aesthetic reasons:its strength and quality gives the performance needed and its cold, hard, colour provides a dramatic foil to the rich warmth of the western red cedar walls.

Mark Webber, Architect, Nichols Brown Webber


It is a very attractive development and we needed something equally attractive and of equally high quality for the roofing material. SSQ Del Carmen slate is top quality, and we liked the colour and texture. What’s more, it is very good value. I’d have no hesitation choosing it again.

Mr Keith Wills, Clancy's Building Manager


SSQ Ultra Del Carmen slates come with a 75-year guarantee and that was important. Not only that, the on-site services promised – and delivered – by SSQ enabled a smooth and easy workflow.

Stuart Howes, Architect


With so many ‘interested parties’ the local planners set their minds on a natural slate roof at a very early stage of the project and, from this starting point, we needed something that would satisfy a number of technical and aesthetic requirements – SSQ Domiz blue-grey, was the one chosen for use to compliment the local ‘Shere Green’ colour.

Ben Hunt, Total Project Integration


We put forward Riverstone as a cost-effective, yet high quality alternative to Welsh Slate, and it was accepted on that basis. The refurbishment work has now been completed and both the owners and ourselves are very happy with the result.

Keith Hicks Architect at Pave Hall


With the roofs being such a visible feature, the choice of roofing slate was a significant decision. We involved the roofing contractor at an early stage in the selection process and they recommended SSQ’s Del Carmen Blue-black slates. Although it’s not an indigenous slate, it is an excellent match for the originals and, having used Spanish slate on other projects, we know the quality is there.

Richard Thorpe, Ridge and Partners LLP


It was an absolute pleasure to meet you today, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your time and a wonderfully informative CPD.

The whole team really enjoyed it, and you definitely conveyed your passion and knowledge of your products!

I would say I will keep SSQ in mind for future projects, but they always have been. However, I have definitely left with a need to utilise more slate in my design work!

Michael Clifton BSc ACIAT - Oakbridge Bespoke Homes Ltd


Being both high quality and cost-effective, Matacouta slate from SSQ is proving very popular with specifiers and contractors alike for refurbishment as well as for new build projects.

Mr Roy Clark, Baxter Clark and Paul

map of the world

Case Study

SSQ’s Riverstone provides reliable roofing solution for a piece of Cornish mining history

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Case Study

SSQ’s Riverstone helps to restore part of Cornwall’s agricultural history

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Case Study

In with the new: SSQ’s Del Carmen restores Southampton University library

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Case Study

SSQ’s Riverstone raises the roof at Mottram St Andrew Primary Academy

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Case Study

Del Carmen helps revamp Saltash’s ‘Gateway to Cornwall’

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