Support for SERA

It is great to see the industry come together with environmental NGOs and other stakeholders to put something concrete in place. These standards are finally breaking the status quo and pushing the industry to look at the way we do business and make sure it is sustainable for the long-term.

- Silvio DeGasperis, TACC Construction Ltd

“It’s time for an aggregate certification system in Ontario that truly sets the bar for responsible practices. SERA is the right path for Ontario’s aggregate sector and I look forward to seeing other industry and environmental groups becoming involved in this groundbreaking new initiative.”

- Mike Schreiner, Leader, Green Party of Ontario

“The SERA concept is an important step in the right direction to providing green gravel and stone in Ontario. I look forward to being part of its development.”

- Sarah Harmer, Musician and PERL Co-Founder

“Holcim (Dufferin Aggregates) is a longstanding aggregate operator and a respected member of the Milton business community.  It is terrific that a public sector organization like SERA has joined forces with a private sector industry such as HOLCIM in order to balance public environmental concerns with the needs of the development industry in Ontario.  The certification standards proposed by SERA will support and build upon the existing practises and efforts of the Milton Quarry.”

- Gord Krantz, Mayor, Milton

“The SERA standards will not only ensure that aggregates are sourced responsibly and destined for reuse or proper disposal, they will also raise awareness of the importance of urban sustainability. Ultimately, it is another step in the right direction to building green, livable cities.”

- Geoff Cape, Executive Director, Evergreen

“Mattamy Homes supports construction industry initiatives that contribute to a more sustainable future and healthier planet. The collaborative effort between Environmental Defence and Holcim Canada to create standards for responsibly sourced aggregate shows leadership within the industry in addressing environmental impacts. We support the direction of the initiative and look forward to working with SERA moving forward.”

- Gary Gregoris, Senior VP, Mattamy Development Corporation

“It is a positive step forward for Ontarians when the business community and environmental organizations come together to work towards a common solution.  The efforts by Holcim Canada and Environmental Defence clearly underscore the importance, for the balance between economic prosperity and long term sustainability of our environment and natural resources.  Your initiative will be a nice complement to the rigorous regulatory framework under the Aggregate Resources Act which is administered by my Ministry.”

- Linda Jeffrey, MPP and Minister of Natural Resources

“Grey Matters is thrilled by the announcement of the SERA standards. The siting of pits and quarries in Ontario has been one of the largest issue of concern for citizens across the Province for years. Clearly, a more thoughtful approach to resource management is needed. Bravo to Environmental Defence and Holcim for bringing both sides to the table and for creating such a progressive and thoughtful initiative.”

- Harvey Jones, President, Grey Matters

“SERA is a welcome advancement for the responsible sourcing of aggregate materials.  In March 2011 CIELAP released a report titled Aggregate Extraction in Ontario: A Strategy for the Future that called for change and improvements on a range of aggregate issues. We are encouraged that the draft SERA standards directly tackle a number of these important issues”

- Thomas Esakin, Executive Director, Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy

“Habitat for Humanity Canada has a philosophy of transforming communities through leadership and collaboration and the new SERA standards embody a similar approach. We are trying to build communities as sustainably as possible, and working with partners like Holcim Canada that are sourcing materials in an environmentally responsible manner is important to us and the communities we build.”

- Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada

“Having just been through a extensive Ontario Municipal Board hearing, at great expense for both our community group and the proponent, I’m thrilled to see the Draft standards. If the standards translate into even one community group and one proponent avoiding what we just went through, then that is already a big win for everyone.”

- Neill Lanz, Vice President, Clearview Community Coalition

“It’s all about choice and how to chart a good environmental outcome. Third-party verified environmental and social standards have historically been very successful in offering the private sector and civil society a market-based alternative to navigate controversial resource development questions.  SERA’s launch of the draft aggregate standards last week is a great first start. We wish SERA the best of luck as it now engages a broader group of interests in helping ensure the standards deliver workable solutions for all stakeholders.”

- Janet Sumner, Executive Director, Wildlands League

“The aggregate debate is like the other environmental debates and conflicts that our society deals with. Bringing together historic adversaries to find a solution makes sense. SERA sets the stage for finding that solution in the aggregate debate and I hope it is successful.”

- Peter Tabuns, MPP and ONDP Environment Critic

“Over the years my annual reports have emphasized that Ontario’s process to approve and regulate aggregate operations needs improvement.  With the formation of SERA and the Draft SERA Standards I am encouraged to see traditional adversaries working together to develop an independently auditable certification system that has the power to change the way we think about aggregates.”

- Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

“Oakville has been pleased to be recognized for its environmental leadership in natural heritage protection and progressive land use planning.  SERA could play a significant role in reducing the ecological footprint of the aggregate industry and making Oakville a green building centre.”

- Rob Burton, Mayor, Oakville

“SERA is a real step forward for the aggregate debate in Ontario.  Any time traditional adversaries come together and try to cooperate on a world-class solution, this has to be good news.  And those who purchase aggregate will be the beneficiary of the SERA effort in that they will have access to a greener, independently certified, product.”

- Steve Parish, Mayor, Ajax

“Being able to reassure customers that the materials they have chosen have been sourced responsibly is a benchmark for any business that wants its sustainability credentials to be taken seriously. This new collaboration, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregates (SERA), between Holcim and Environmental Defence marks a watershed and will undoubtedly propel many organisations in Canada to take stock of their environmental and social practices. By introducing a new standard on responsible sourcing of aggregates, this initiative will raise awareness of sustainability, but will also transform how companies in this sector engage with their communities. This approach brings fresh thinking and hope for a positive future.”

- Dr. Jacqueline Glass, APRES Responsible Sourcing Network Manager, Loughborough University

“The Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon welcomes the  improved industry standards that SERA proposes.  This is a real step forward in encouraging long-term planning in the aggregates sector.  We are looking forward to exchanging ideas with the SERA founding board to ensure that the needs of our community are met.”

- Penny Richardson, Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon

“SERA has the potential to transform the aggregates industry in much the same way as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification has transformed the forest industry.

- Maia Becker, Forest Stewardship Council

“This is a pleasant surprise! Enhanced evaluation of aggregate sites and operations, as well as moving beyond minimum regulatory compliance are important principles and directions. We look forward to examining the details in the draft SERA standard and to understanding the stakeholder consultation process for involvement and improvement. At first glance though, there seem to be some good elements. The authors are to be congratulated for launching this initiative.”

- Graham Flint, FORCE

“The Schad Foundation has a history of supporting projects that protect and restore our natural environment.  We are proud to support innovative projects like SERA which will significantly protect and restore wildlife habitat in our most vulnerable areas.”

- Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Schad Foundation

“Our social legacy depends on reliable sources of aggregate materials for the roads, schools, hospitals and homes built each year.  Just as FSC achieved for the forestry sector we need to be sure that the way we utilize our aggregate resources has a minimal impact on our natural environment and community. For the first time in Ontario, SERA offers communities and operators a way to work together to deliver responsibly sourced aggregate materials.”

- Lorne Johnson, Executive Director, SERA

“Aggregate is an important resource that is vital for building the country’s infrastructure. SERA will help the aggregate industry to meet the demand for aggregates while meeting community needs and demonstrating measurable efforts to address the social and environmental impacts of pits and quarries.”

- Paul Ostrander, President and CEO, Holcim Canada

“SERA is the result of two years of hard work between Environmental Defence and Holcim Canada – it’s our best effort to define what leadership looks like for the aggregate industry. Moving forward, we realize that for SERA and these standards to succeed, we need the involvement and support of a broader group of industry, community and environmental groups and First Nations organizations.”

- Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence

“A clear and far-sighted initiative such as SERA demonstrates that Canada, through the activities of Holcim (Canada) Inc. and Environmental Defence, intends to be at the forefront of activities to develop an exciting new sustainability tool bringing significant benefits to a wide range of stakeholders within both industry and society.”

- Derek Hughes, BRE Global

“Reducing the environmental footprint of construction materials is the next important step in sustainable construction. SERA sets a benchmark for how aggregates used in cement production are sourced in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way.”

- Thomas Mueller, CaGBC

“The no-go and net-gain approaches proposed by SERA are a huge step forward for both the aggregate industry and other developments in settled landscapes”

- Tim Gray, Ivey Foundation

“Following an exhaustive online review BuildGreen Solutions is confident to say that we could find nothing that came close to rivaling the draft SERA standards in terms of rigour or comprehensiveness related to aggregate extraction.”

- Rodney Wilts, BuildGreen Solutions