Trillium funding for aggregates certification program
By Andrew Macklin
December 7, 2015 – The Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) has engaged the University of Waterloo CHEC (Community, Health, Environment and Communications) Initiative in a two-year, $118,900 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help it do a variety of activities, including the implementation of a voluntary certification system for aggregate extraction in Ontario.
“I am pleased that the Ontario Trillium Foundation was able to provide support for the Cornerstone Standards Council, an organization that is promoting collaboration between the aggregates industry and environmental NGOs,” said Catherine Fife, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo. “Working together to create higher environmental standards is a goal we should all be striving for.”
Through this project CSC and CHECs will develop materials and tools that help community groups, environmental organizations, Aboriginal groups and aggregate operators to better understand and engage with CSC’s Responsible Aggregate Standard and Certification System.
Through this work CSC and CHEC will develop:
– A report on good education and outreach practices (available now at uwaterloo.ca/chec/publications)
– An education and outreach program that provides community and First Nation stakeholders with resources, training and support to understand the aggregate industry, CSC’s Responsible Aggregate Standard, industry best practices and how to engage with operations through certification; and
– Tools that support aggregate operations, including small and medium-sized operations, to meet CSC’s Responsible Aggregate Standard. These may include checklists, templates, sample documents and operations guidelines as well as expertise to facilitate certification for aggregate operations.
In early winter, CHEC will be contacting individuals and organizations concerned with responsible aggregate extraction in Ontario to get their input on what materials and tools would support their understanding and engagement with CSC’s certification system. The participation of diverse participants will be valuable in ensuring that the materials and tools are relevant and useful to a wide range of stakeholders.
The University of Waterloo’s CHEC Initiative brings together a team of experts from across the stakeholder spectrum. CHEC’s team, comprehensive of the aboriginal, industry, and community sectors, will help to ensure CSC’s commitment to a balanced and collaborative approach is maintained.
Leading the team is Tanya Markvart, PhD, CHEC Director of Research and Programming. Tanya brings to the work a research and consulting background in aggregate resource management, sustainability analysis and public engagement. Wayne Caston, long-time consultant in the aggregate sector, is the team’s industry advisor and Dorothy Larkman, PhD Candidate and community relations consultant, is advising the team on First Nation components of the work. Kayla Stephenson, former employee of MNR aggregate division, is the lead Research Assistant.
CSC is pleased to have CHEC engaged in the development of this work and believe that the education and outreach materials as well as industry support tools that will be created represent leading edge practices and will help to establish new ground in the evolution of aggregate resource management.