Cornerstone is a voluntary and market-based certification system for the responsible extraction of aggregates. It will provide a way for communities and the market to:
- Recognize aggregate operations that meet the highest environmental and social Standards; and
- Preferentially purchase aggregates that come from these operations.
Certification is the process by which aggregate sites are independently evaluated against an environmental and social standard. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for regulatory and planning processes, but provides market incentives for progressive operations that are willing to go above and beyond regulatory requirements. On the other side, it gives public and private purchasers the ability to influence operations through their buying decisions.
Our approach is based on international best practices and experience gained over two decades from successful certification programs in other resource and construction sectors (FSC – forestry, MSC – fisheries, LEED – building).
Throughout 2014 we have developed draft components for the design, content and delivery of a third-party audited certification system we are sharing these draft pieces now for the review and use by other certification initiatives.
- Design of a Certification System: A chart identifying the decision features, and their impacts, which must be considered when designing a certification system. Download the Design of a Certification System chart.
- Work plan for new Certification Systems: The activities, milestones and general timelines required for designing, developing and launching a new certification system. Download the Work plan for new Certification Systems.
- Policy and Procedures List: The name, description and prioritization of policies that are required for launch of a new Certification System. Download the Policy and Procedures list.
- Certification System Manual: The draft processes and procedures that define how CSC might audit sites against CSC’s Standards. This includes: type and scope of assessments, audit planning, audit process, non-conformance, reporting, auditor eligibility, certification decisions/issuance, and audit templates. Download the CSC’s draft Certification System Manual
- Issues Resolution Policy: Policy addressing how issues with the CSC Certification Scheme are addressed. This includes: identification of issues, process for resolution, hierarchy of escalation, and templates for monitoring, comments, appeals and formal complaints. Download CSC’s draft Issues Resolution Policy
- Statement of Independence: Identifies how CSC ensures the credibility of the CSC Certification System. This includes: financial and operational independence of CSC and certification branch, auditor impartiality, transparency of information, and consistency and quality of assessments. Download CSC’s Statement of Independence.
- Educated presentations: Powerpoint presentations on ‘Certification 101’ and ‘Auditing 101’, which describe what sustainability standards and certification are, and how they are audited. Download ‘Certification 101’ or ‘Auditing 101’.
- Auditor Training Course overview: Powerpoint presentation that includes a sample agenda, learning objectives, suggested features, and evaluation form for conducting auditor training. Download CSC’s Auditor Training Course overview.