Aggregate buyers in the Lake Simcoe area now can buy stone, sand and gravel knowing they come from an operation that protects the environment.
This follows the announcement that Lafarge Canada Inc.’s Oro sand and gravel pit has been awarded a Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) Certificate of Conformance.
Stone, sand and gravel from the pit will now carry the CSC label, indicating the operation protects the environment, and the company engages openly with the community and operates following industry best practices.
Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes and Councillor John Crawford joined environmental groups, building sector leaders and politicians yesterday at Black Creek Pioneer Village yesterday as CSC presented Xavier Guesnu, Vice President Aggregates with Lafarge Canada with the site’s certificate.
“Having the Oro Pit recognized with CSC Certification shows the kind of leadership aggregate companies like Lafarge can bring to a community,” says Township of Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes. “Lafarge’s commitment to engaging with local groups and the municipality is a worthy example to emulate, he said.
CSC’s certification system is part of a growing movement for sustainability standards in a number of resource sectors (i.e. forestry, fishing and agriculture). The backbone of CSC’s certification is its Responsible Aggregate Standard, released in January 2015, which establishes a set of requirements – negotiated between aggregate operators, environmental organizations and community representatives – outlining what responsible aggregate extraction looks like in Ontario.
In addition to meeting regulatory and CSC requirements for the site, Lafarge’s Oro Pit makes contributions to the environment and community by:
· Supporting local Boys and Girls Clubs, the Orillia Santa Clause Parade, the Orillia Relay for Life and local Food Banks
· Donating material to local projects (including a Habitat for Humanity build and the Midland Huronia Airport)
· Being a good steward of the environment by starting a Butternut Nursery and partaking in an annual tree planting event (shown in the photo)
· Being a good neighbour by investing in property enhancements including entrance improvements
“Oro is a site that Lafarge takes great pride in and I am extremely proud that we have received this certification from Cornerstone Standards Council. I’d like to thank the local team for all of their hard work on this initiative,” says Xavier Guesnu, Vice President Aggregates with Lafarge Canada. “Certification at this site truly speaks to Lafarge’s continued commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices. This allows us to continue to provide value added products including CSC certified materials, to public and private developers in the Simcoe and GTA area.”
The certificate presentation took place during More Talk, Better Rock, an aggregates summit organized by Environmental Defence sharing how aggregate companies and environmental leaders came together to develop CSC’s Responsible Aggregate Standard and explore how this initiative can lead to a less contentious, more prosperous aggregates sector. Included in the summit were presentations from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Environmental Defence, CSC, industry experts and green builders.
“It is rewarding to see forward thinking companies like Lafarge committing to more responsible practices,” says Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “By pursuing certification and demonstrating their site’s conformance with a higher bar of practice Lafarge is once again demonstrating how businesses can act as leaders in our communities.”
CSC’s Responsible Aggregate Standard is the world's only voluntary certification system for responsible aggregate practices. The Standard provides for enhanced public consultation, progressive and efficient rehabilitation, protection and enhancement of environmentally significant areas and improved operational practices. To obtain CSC certification, an aggregate site must undergo in-depth assessments to prove it meets CSC’s high standards.
About Cornerstone Standards Council
Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) is a registered charity that creates, administers, and promotes widespread support for voluntary certification of responsibly sourced aggregate materials. Its current focus is to engage industry and community stakeholders in the on-the-ground application of its Responsible Aggregate Standard in order to learn about the Standard’s strengths and weaknesses and determine how it can be improved.
Article courtesy of Environmental Defence
Photos courtesy of Lafarge Canada