All who create landscape have a great responsibility, for they form the space in which we live. Our function is to facilitate that task. For over 30 years, CED has developed and extended its range of natural stone products that has become the basis of good design with long-lasting results. We keep extensive stocks in all our depots, but we will arrange the manufacture of almost anything - as long as it is natural. Stone cannot be made - it exists. One designs in accordance with the qualities of a particular material. In CED, we have the responsibility of giving the right advice to assist all to achieve a good long term result. When it is beyond our capability, for we are not consultants, we will suggest where help may be found. Our desire and need is for stone to be used so successfully that good examples abound that can be followed. Looking at past practice, there is much excellent work that has survived in top condition for a hundred years or more. Delightfully for us all, these materials often look better the older they are and there exists still a lively market in reclaimed flags, setts and kerb. However, the same aim at best practice applies just as much to the choice of aggregate for precast concrete or pebbledash, footpath gravel or resin formulations for paths and drives.
Natural Stone paving is beautiful but to make a good choice much needs to be considered - we have to know if it is for private or public use, inside or out, traffic or pedestrians. Before even thinking about the colour, are there disabled requirements, problems of oil, fat, wine, coffee, skid resistance, frost and salt, deliverymen or skateboarders? And that is just a start. (Please ask for our checklist of such matters or see our article considerations in selecting stone.)
How is a stream or a beach to look? To create a natural appearance is an art in itself. We look for the materials to make it possible, bringing them from throughout Britain and from faraway places.
We are now reaping the benefits that come with greater volumes. Many prices are down, often astonishingly. Not only is stone the winner on a whole life comparison, but it is often simply cheaper in the first place. We supply much British and European material but we also have the pleasure of importing from some of the developing countries that have great craft skills. Thus we add to their wealth and aid an improvement in their lives.
It matters not whether our clients are specifiers, contractors or suppliers in the builders merchant, D.I.Y. or garden centre trades, we seek correct and effective use of the products we sell and will assist whenever we can.
We aim to be reliable and honest and have many staff with years of experience. But nothing stays still and the pace gets quicker. We keep adapting to new opportunities and it is most rewarding to see that natural stone is now the first choice.
We hope you enjoy this website and continue to encourage us to break new ground in every area of the business.
Michael Heap Company Chairman
Civil Engineering Developments Limited was formed in 1959 to devise applications for calcined flint within resin technology, but it was soon clear that the venture was unfortunately beyond the resources of the family. It was in 1978 that Michael Heap recognised that the company had the basis to become a supplier of specialist aggregate and stone.
The family’s involvement with stone, specifically flint, dates back to the middle of the 19th century, supplying raw flint from France to the ceramic industry by ship and canal boat. When similar flint became available in Essex as a by-product from chalk extractions for cement manufacture, Michael’s grandfather A.L Walley installed a small processing unit at West Thurrock in 1931. When his death soon after was followed almost immediately by both sons, Nora Walley, then a 23 year old budding tennis player, bravely took over the management. Flint supplies from France were cut off by the war and West Thurrock production became vital to the ceramic industry. Many other applications for calcined (cooked) flint were developed in the 1950s and 1960s and the business prospered but after the closure in the late 1970s of the last local cement works, the calcined flint production business was sold.
From very small beginnings, CED has grown by fulfilling market needs within the field of natural materials ranging from technical uses for fine dried aggregates to beautiful pebbles and huge boulders. By making the relatively unusual readily available, CED has enabled landscape architects to effect exciting designs for lakes, rivers and specialist water features. In the field of paving, first by buying and holding in stock large quantities of reclaimed granite setts, kerbs and York flags, these materials became practical for specifiers to consider, and secondly, by actively marketing a whole variety of new stone. CED has prompted, encouraged and led the moves to improve the hard surfacing of public and private areas alike.Now with five depots spread nationwide, together with a broad exciting range of products, CED has the foundation prepared to deal with the growth in demand which it has itself done so much to foster and which is so welcome in the improvements being made to urban paving. At last it is again recognised that stone is not only aesthetically pleasing but it is often cheaper when compared on whole-life costing.
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe. Their vision is a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity.
Global supply chains are highly complex and challenging for companies committed to trading ethically. Workers’ rights issues are often deep-rooted and widespread and are best tackled through collaborative action. Through our involvement with ETI we are able to harness the expertise, skills and resources of their alliance members to identify these issues and help develop innovative, long-lasting solutions. Our measure of success is that workers can negotiate effectively for a better working life where their rights are respected.
We insist that all suppliers in our supply chain sign up to the Ethical Base Code of labour practice. This Base Code has been drawn up by The Ethical Trading Initiative and is based on the labour standards set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Some of the main criteria of the Ethical Base Code are as follows:
To find out more about the work of the ETI and to view a copy of the Base Code please visit their website – www.ethicaltrade.org
Ethical trade means that retailers, merchants and their suppliers take responsibility for ensuring that working conditions are provided to an acceptable level, as well as, when necessary improving these conditions for the people who make the products they sell. In our case these workers are employed by supplier companies around the world, many of them based in poorer countries where laws designed to protect workers’ are not always adhered too.
CED LTD are full members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), (see separate tab for more information on the ETI). All our staff take the need to trade ethically and in a fair and responsible manner very seriously. We regularly run internal training and knowledge sharing courses.
Our suppliers’ performance and code of conduct impacts massively on our reputation. Our suppliers form an integral part of our business and we have many long term supplier relationships of 10 and more years. There is a mutual trust and understanding in the way that we work together. Over the years we have helped to improve the conditions and abilities of our suppliers. If there is anything noticeable that we think can be improved we try and help find the solution. We also conduct regular SGS certified Audits to identify and solve any problems in our supply chain. These Audits include worker interviews which improve our understanding of problems that they are having and the ongoing issues most important to them.
Our pricing policy has always been one of giving a “fair price” to our customers. We do not have a policy of always buying goods at the cheapest possible price, as this would be counter productive both with regards to quality and ethical fairness. We encourage our suppliers to ensure they are making a reasonable profit which in turn will benefit their workers. Sometimes this means that we are not the cheapest company tendering for material supply and this can lead to a loss of business. However, we believe that this is the correct way to trade.
Several of the key projects we have supplied have required CED to take clients to overseas factories to visit our suppliers. As well as quality checks on materials it is also to allow them to see that the conditions are acceptable and that ethical requirements are being met.
We have the responsibility here at CED to ensure that we conduct ourselves properly and always consider ethical issues when dealing with and purchasing from our suppliers. We treat our suppliers as we would wish to be treated. We have travelled to see many of the organisations where the work forces are clearly very happy, treated fairly and work effectively and in recent years there have been clear visible improvements, some dramatic, in both infrastructure and working conditions.
The best way to assist those developing peoples in their lives is to provide them with export opportunities on every practical occasion. Natural stone provides that opportunity.
Rajasthan Sandstone Working Group (RSWG): In collaboration with the Ethical Trading Initiative, other Commercial bodies, NGOs and Trade Unions, we are actively working on a long standing project in the Kota region of Rajasthan in India. The main aims of the project are to improve the lives, livelihoods and health of workers in sandstone quarries, stocking units and factories in the region. Concentrating initially on H&S and HR issues we are now starting to advance the programme to look at the prevalence of Silicosis amongst quarry workers and ways to improve dialogue with the workers in the supply chain.
Iberian complete compliance: A series of audits and follow up audits within our complete supply chain in Portugal and Spain. This is an ongoing project which will mean continuous reassessment over the coming months and years. This project has already led to several improvements in working conditions for the workers in our Iberian supply chain.
Indian school charity sponsorship: Together with our key Indian supplier we are the largest contributors to a charity run by K. N. Maheshwari, which funds a school set up for poor Indian Children living in slums in Jaipur. Children aged from 5 to 16 who would otherwise be just wandering the streets or collecting rubbish are educated in an interactive, fun and safe environment. Teaching eventually to graduation level the volunteer teachers there do a fantastic job and personally collect and then take home the children each day. Without charities such as this one; The Shri Radhey Sewa Trust: these children would face a very bleak future.
Dust mask distribution – Shandong province, North China: We are undertaking a regular distribution of dust masks to the 4 main factory / production centres that we use in this region. Inhaling dust when cutting and working stone over sustained periods can lead to serious lung conditions such as silicosis. We intend to move forward soon with training initiatives to help educate the workers on the importance of wearing these masks whenever stone dust is present.
We have established this quality policy to be consistent with the purpose and context of our organization. It provides a framework for the setting and review of objectives in addition to our commitment to satisfy applicable customers’, regulatory and legislative requirements as well as our commitment to continually improve our management system.
Customer focus: As an organization we have made a commitment to understand our current and future customers’ needs; meet their requirements and strive to exceed their expectations.
Leadership: Our Top Management have committed to creating and maintaining a working environment in which people become fully involved in achieving our objectives.
Engagement of people: As an organization we recognise that people are the essence of any good business and that their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for our benefit.
Process approach: As an organization we understand that a desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process or series of interconnected processes.
Improvement: We have committed to achieving continual improvement across all aspects of our quality management system; it is one of our main annual objectives.
Evidence-based decision making: As an organization we have committed to only make decisions relating to our QMS following an analysis of relevant data and information.
Relationship management: CED Ltd recognises that an organization and the relationship it has with its external providers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.
Our policy is also to meet the requirements of other interested parties and in meeting our social, environmental, charitable, regulatory and legislative responsibilities.