|Baudouin Nizet (left), Mayor Rick Bonnette|
Dufferin Aggregates’ Acton Quarry in Halton Hills, Ontario, is the first operation to receive Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) certification as a supplier of responsibly sourced stone, sand and gravel. The certification stands to benefit internal and external customers of an integrated aggregates, ready mixed and construction entity long the Ontario flagship of Holcim (Canada), but now an Oldcastle Materials sister business under CRH Canada Group.
CSC is a collaboration of community, environmental and industry stakeholders; its Responsible Aggregates Standard, released in January 2015, provides quarry certification parameters. Penned by the CSC Standards Development Panel, the document reflects 2,000-plus comments representing more than 100 organizations and individuals. Leading off its seven principles is “Compliance with laws: Aggregate operations meet or exceed the requirements of all applicable laws and legal instruments in the jurisdictions in which they occur.” Remaining principles range from “Community notification, consultation and participation” to “Resource efficiency and conservation” to “Site stewardship and impacts to environment, water, agriculture and human health.”
“This certification is a testament to our commitment to address the demand for aggregates that consider community and environmental needs,” says CRH Canada Group CEO Baudouin Nizet. “Now any purchaser of aggregates, be it the public or the private sector, will have the confidence in knowing that they are buying responsibly sourced building materials.”
“This certificate speaks to the relationship between CRH Canada and [our] town,” adds Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette. “By following CSC’s Standards and working proactively to address environmental and social impacts the Acton Quarry has been able to incorporate sustainability principles into its ongoing operations and after use. This has been a key component of the recent approval for expansion of the quarry.”
Tim Gray, executive director of CSC member Environmental Defense, acknowledges aggregates’ core value but notes, “a tension between our need for these products, the views of communities adjacent to these operations, and the need to protect farmland and the environment. For the first time, a pathway exists for those building blocks to be sustainably sourced. CSC certification can improve industry practices, reduce conflict and generate a market for sustainable products. CRH Canada should be congratulated for being the first operation to certify and for forging a new path that other aggregate operations can follow.”