CSC releases revised standard industry best practice document; shifts role

Cornerstone Standards Council
December 18, 2018
By Cornerstone Standards Council
The Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) announces the release of its Responsible Aggregate Standard (V4) and changes to CSC's role moving forward. This announcement comes following a pilot period of CSC's Standard (V3) to evaluate the effectiveness of the standard.

CSC Responsible Aggregate Standard V4
CSC is pleased to release its Responsible Aggregate Standard (V4) as a 'best practices' document for the aggregate sector. This revised standard is largely the work of CSC's Standard Revision Panel, a group composed of representatives from the aggregate sector, environmental organizations and a representative from the Métis Nation of Ontario. The panel met several times through 2018 to review input received during the pilot period and propose recommendations for revising the standard. Following these discussions, the panel reached consensus on the majority of changes and proposed a revised standard to CSC's Board of Directors for approval. With relatively few changes CSC's Board of Directors approved this revised standard for distribution as a best practice document on November 9, 2018.

The release of this standard demonstrates how progressive aggregate operators, community interests and NGOs, First Nations and Metis, when working collaboratively, can reconcile their differences and agree on what socially and environmentally responsible practice looks like for the sector. The standard addresses a number of areas related to aggregate operations including improved transparency regarding environmental impacts, proactive engagement with the local community, protection (and improvement) of key environmental features, and operating practices that reduce negative impacts. It is hoped that by adopting the practices in the Standard industry will benefit from strengthened social license, protection of environmental features and improved relationships with impacted communities.

The changing role of CSC
In addition to releasing the Responsible Aggregate Standard (V4) as a best practices document, CSC will be shifting its role and functions. Moving forward, CSC will no longer function as a certification/accreditation organization and will no longer conduct audits against the standard. For a variety of reasons, CSC was unable to create a strong enough value proposition for industry to pursue certification at the scale required for the organization to be sustainable. As a result, beginning January 1, 2019 CSC will enter into a custodianship period for the next two years, allowing time to reassess the level of interest in such a certification system. 

CSC will have no staff working during this custodianship period but will reconvene periodically to monitor evolving best practices in the sector, identify opportunities to work together and discuss future steps with the standard and certification system. 

Many thanks
CSC's Board of Directors would like to thank the many individuals and organizations who have been involved in its work. Including financial supporters, staff, directors, members of technical working groups and other stakeholders who took the time to provide comments and input as the standard was developed and reviewed. It is thanks to this support that CSC has achieved the significant task of reaching a consensus based set of best practices for the aggregate sector. This work will continue to have an impact in the coming years. CSC's Responsible Aggregate Standard (V4) will live on the website www.cornerstonestandards.ca.

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