Quarry Southern Africa November 2017 - Page 37

ASSOCIATIONS – ASPASA the NWA and NEMA where environmental pollution/degradation may have occurred on the mining land as a result of an unlicensed — or even a licensed — activity. Nico Pienaar of Aspasa. Ethically obtained aggregates key to sustainability Green building cannot truly be sustainable unless the aggregates used in these construction projects are procured from quarries that uphold strict sustainability and environmental policies. In South Africa, the most reliable means of ensuring ethical supply is to deal with Aspasa member quarries, which are required to uphold strict environmental requirements and pass annual audits based on ISO14001 standards. Furthermore, these aggregates are obtained from sources where suitable geological deposits occur, rather than being randomly excavated near construction sites. Procuring materials from these companies also ensures stable and sustainable jobs for workers who are employed within the confines of the law and in a safe environment. A healthy and profitable formal aggregates industry is essential to the construction industry and adds value to the entire construction supply chain. Apart from government legislation, Aspasa represents the only formal regulation of the industry, without which the industry would probably become swamped by roadside operators and unscrupulous operators who pay scant attention to any laws or standards. “Aspasa is seeking to move the entire aggregates industry towards true sustainability, while still ensuring that it is able to meet the demands of the industry, as well as the overall development plans of the country. It is true that we cannot do without aggregates and for this reason we are working tirelessly with the industry to ensure that we are able to extract and produce aggregates in the most sustainable manner,” says Nico Pienaar of Aspasa. “We are working tirelessly with the industry to ensure that we are able to extract and produce aggregates in the most sustainable manner.” Seven pillars of sustainability Aspasa measures sustainability according to seven pillars: 1. Regulating, raising awareness, and training member companies to work safely in pursuit of zero harm to all employees, contractors, subcontractors, and visitors. 2. Realising that quarrying is a temporary land use and minimising damage to the environment. At the end of the land use, ensuring that it is returned to being a fully functioning ecosystem, or is rehabilitated in line with future land use objectives. 3. Promoting a circular economy in which maximum efficiency is sought in all stages of the lifecycle of the quarry. Including optimal extraction, production, and transport in the closest possible proximity to the end-user market. To support the local economy, to recycle, and to make use of all available resources as far as is possible. 4. Working within the confines of legislation and ensuring consistency of enforcement of the law and a level playing field among members and non-members. Working with legislators to modernise legislation, cut red tape, and promote a profitable and thriving industry in support of the country’s future development goals. 5. Promoting responsible extraction of minerals and working with interest groups, research centres, universities, and other interested parties to overcome environmental challenges in areas that may be deemed sensitive. 6. Encouraging social participation and open lines of communication with surrounding communities and other stakeholders. To leave a legacy that empowers the community and its people. 7. To develop communication tools and public relations training for staff so that stakeholder concerns can be raised, documented, and dealt with in a transparent manner. n QUARRY SA | NOVEMBER 2017 _ 35