The Problem:

Aggregates – sand, stone and gravel – are the main ingredients in cement and concrete, needed to build infrastructure like highways, high-rises, and dams. But gravel pits and quarries have impacts on the land and water. Ontario’s increasing population means we have an increased need for these materials, but this can conflict with our need for a healthy environment and healthy communities.


In 2015, through our work with the Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC), we helped launch the world’s first voluntary, third party sustainable aggregate standard. The CSC standard was developed by environmental organizations and community groups working with industry.

The benefits of certification:

Enhances communities’ ability to participate in site planning

Municipalities can conduct peer review of environmental studies and plans

Ensures existing operators adhere to high environmental standards

Ensures new operations stay out of sensitive, environmentally significant areas like wetlands, woodlands and endangered species habitats

What you can do:

  • If an aggregate operation is near you or you hear of an application for a new pit or quarry, contact the company and encourage them to pursue certification.
  • Contact your local municipality and encourage officials to develop a policy to use only certified sustainable aggregates in all its roads, bridges and other projects.
  • Tell your municipality that any new aggregate operations within their boundaries should be CSC-certified.