The Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) has released draft standards for “responsible aggregate extraction” in Ontario, Canada. CSC is reaching out to individuals and groups interested in the role voluntary certification can play in Ontario’s aggregate sector. The group is seeking feedback on its draft Responsible Aggregate Standards and want to know if they accurately reflect achievable expectations for progressive quarry operations.
“Reducing the social and environmental impact of pits and quarries and recognizing companies that go the extra mile is an important step in sustainable construction,” said Peter Kendall, Schad Foundation and chair of CSC’s board of directors. “Aggregates are an important resource and CSC sets a benchmark for how our province can ensure it is sourced in an environmentally responsible way.”
CSC expects that this voluntary certification system will have a transformative effect on Ontario’s aggregate sector by introducing a less confrontational approach to the planning, siting and operation of aggregate sites. The draft standards propose voluntary requirements for pits and quarries that meet community’s growing expectations for social and environmental rigor by:
- Protecting Ontario’s most important natural areas.
- Identifying and addressing potentially adverse environmental impacts.
- Meaningfully engaging with local communities and Aboriginal groups before extraction is licensed and throughout the lifecycle of operations.
- Communicating progress towards final extraction with the community.
- Developing final rehabilitation plans that incorporate community’ interests.
“These draft Standards are the result of years of hard work by CSC’s Standards Development Panel – it’s our best effort to define what leadership looks like for the aggregate industry,” said Lorne Johnson, executive director of CSC. “Moving forward, we realize that for these standards to succeed, we need the input from other industry, community and environmental groups, and Aboriginal organizations.”
The draft standards are posted online at www.cornerstonestandards.ca.