SOURCE: Cornerstone Standards Council

Cornerstone Standards Council

January 12, 2015 08:00 ET

Industry and NGOs Reach Unprecedented Agreement on the World's First Voluntary Aggregate Standard

WOODBRIDGE, ON--(Marketwired - January 12, 2015) - The Board of Directors of the Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) is proud to release the world's first voluntary standard for the responsible siting, operation and rehabilitation of aggregate pits and quarries. 

The world's first marketplace sustainability standard for aggregate pits and quarries has been developed in Ontario. The standard addresses where to build pits and quarries, how to operate them and how to rehabilitate them when they close. This standard will allow private developers and governments to buy aggregate materials with the comfort of knowing they are socially and environmentally responsible.      

The approval of CSC's Responsible Aggregate Standard is a significant achievement for individuals and organizations interested in aggregate extraction in Ontario and follows three years of multi-stakeholder consultation, a 75-day public consultation period and on the ground field-tests. CSC's Standard Development Panel has worked diligently to develop a standard that reconciles the diverse input received throughout this process. Building upon this hard work the Board is pleased to say it has reached consensus on a revised Responsible Aggregate Standard for Ontario that represents a new, more collaborative approach to the siting, operation and rehabilitation of pits and quarries.

"Time and again my annual reports have emphasized the importance of improving Ontario's process to approve and regulate aggregate operations. Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) has the power to change the conversation around aggregate extraction and the approval of its Responsible Aggregate Standard is a breakthrough between traditional adversaries." Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario  

Rather than holding a 30-day consultation period CSC's Board of Directors has decided the Responsible Aggregate Standard will benefit from a 2-year pilot period during which CSC will host educational forums, solicit input from all stakeholders and test the Standard on the ground. It is our belief that taking this more comprehensive approach will result in a better Standard. Additional details regarding this pilot period and opportunities to provide input are available at www.cornerstonestandards.ca.

The Standard is now available at www.cornerstonestandards.ca along with responses to the comments received during public consultation and draft resources related to the assurance system. In addition to the detailed Standard, CSC is also releasing plain language summaries that provide an overview of requirements for existing and proposed aggregate operations.

The Board would like to thank CSC's funders, the members of the Standards Development Panel and staff for their support in bringing us to this important milestone.

About Cornerstone Standards Council
Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) is a not-for-profit organization that aims to create, administer and promote widespread support for certification of responsibly sourced aggregate materials. Its initial focus is on establishing a voluntary certification system to promote responsibly sourced aggregate materials in Ontario, offering operators an innovative way to demonstrate their efforts to meet the social and environmental expectations of the community. 

Support for CSC's Responsible Aggregate Standard 

"Miller Group prides itself on being committed to time-proven construction methods and innovative technology. Cornerstone is an innovative approach that will allow our industry to recognize operations that go above and beyond minimum legal requirements." Ryan Essex, Vice President, Miller Group 

"The continued growth in the green building market means demand for responsibly sourced building materials is also increasing. Companies that provide certified responsible aggregates will be well-positioned to serve this growing demand which is increasing with the introduction of LEED version 4." Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, Canada Green Building Council 

"We are proud to be part of this industry-leading initiative to develop the world's first responsible aggregate standard. Lafarge is committed to being amongst the first to pilot this standard at sites across Ontario." Bruno Roux, President and CEO, Eastern Canada, Lafarge Canada Inc. 

"The CSC Standard raises the bar for communities and the environment by approaching siting from a landscape context, protecting key ecological features, and providing greater transparency and accountability to the public. This is a solid step forward." Caroline Schultz, Executive Director, Ontario Nature 

"Progressive builders and developers have been waiting for a responsible aggregate solution. With the approval of CSC's Standard, Windmill Developments and others can now give preference in our procurement processes to certified aggregates." Rodney Wilts, Partner, Windmill Developments 

"After years of conflict between the public's desire to protect nature and the economy's demand for aggregate, CSC has given us a strong base for having both addressed with the involvement of communities." Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence 

"The successful approval of CSC's Responsible Aggregate Standard and the approach it outlines is a turning point for the building materials industry. Aggregate is an important resource that is vital for building the country's infrastructure and the adoption of this standard will help the aggregate industry to meet the demand for aggregates while meeting community needs and demonstrating measurable efforts to address the social and environmental impacts of pits and quarries." John Pontarollo, Senior Vice President for Ontario and Western Canada, Holcim Canada 

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