TORONTO, June 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontario's environmental NGO community and
aggregate producers, collectively known as The Aggregate Forum, today
announced that they have retained Deloitte, one of Canada's leading
management companies, to develop a certification program that will
enhance standards of environmental stewardship and community engagement
across Ontario's aggregate industry.
"The aggregate industry and six environmental organizations have been
collaborating on a certification framework, The Change Agenda, since
early 2008, and we have been communicating with the provincial
government, municipalities, and other interested stakeholders," said
Moreen Miller, President of the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel
"Irrespective of the agreement between Holcim Ltd. and Environmental
Defence, we feel that it is critical for us to put in place a program
that has the involvement and support of a broad group that reflects the
consensus of a wide constituency of environmental, community, industry,
and provincial and municipal interests," said Caroline Schultz,
Executive Director of Ontario Nature, "It is essential to have a
process that communities can trust."
The agreement between Holcim and Environmental Defence announced earlier
today was developed independently, and OSSGA and the Forum ENGOs were
not aware of nor involved in this activity. Environmental Defence was
invited to join The Ontario Aggregate Forum in 2008, and declined.
Holcim resigned from the Forum in March of 2011.
In 2008, OSSGA began a series of meetings with environmental NGOs in
Ontario to discuss ideas for future collaboration on non-renewable
resource management in the province. Meetings continued in 2009 and
resulted in the formation of the Ontario Aggregate Forum. The six
participating ENGOs are Ontario Nature, STORM (Save the Oak Ridges
Moraine), Nature Conservancy Canada, Gravel Watch Ontario, CONE
(Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment), and Couchiching Conservancy.
The industry and environmental NGO initiative, called the Change Agenda,
will work with Deloitte, through a $100,000 research program, to assess
the best models of independent certification for aggregate producers,
including the draft materials released today.
The proposed development of a certification program for aggregate
operators in Ontario is in response to the public's increased
expectation for businesses to understand, accept and incorporate the
concept of corporate social responsibility into their decision-making
processes that potentially impact the surrounding community, including
Membership and certification of operations/sites is intended to
demonstrate that the participating business has committed to undertake
an enhanced level of environmental stewardship and community
Standards will be developed for the approval, operation, and
rehabilitation of aggregate quarries and pits in the province, and will
likely include: conservation lands, biodiversity conservation; water
management; progressive and final rehabilitation; recycling; community
engagement; scheduling and operations; environmental research;
education and awareness; carbon neutrality; community planning
processes; and energy use and conservation.
The certification program would also include requirements for best
practices training, reporting and compliance audits and incentives for
participation in the program. The goal of the certification program is
to identify industry practices that lead to outcomes which exceed
existing legislative and regulatory requirements.
SOURCE The Ontario Aggregate Forum
For further information:
The Ontario Aggregate Forum
Caroline Schultz, Executive Director
Phone: 416 768 9795
Moreen Miller, President
Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
Phone: (905) 507-0711
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org