WBCSD releases guidelines for responsible quarrying
Guidance for managing the impacts of quarrying activities
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released Guidelines on Quarry Rehabilitation which provides practical guidance for managing the impacts of quarrying activities and ensuring that environments are properly revitalized. Led by the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI), the project was carried out by a group of member companies and is based on methods that they have successfully employed.
Philippe Fonta, Managing Director, WBCSD Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) and Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB), said: “In recognizing their responsibility for effective quarry rehabilitation, our members want to share their practical experience and expertise in order to potentially help other companies involved in similar quarrying or rehabilitation activities. In 2005, all CSI members committed to prepare their rehabilitation plans and make them public before the operation of new cement sites.”
The Guidelines reflect the principles of quarry rehabilitation, established by consensus among the CSI members and outlines the conditions and milestones for developing rehabilitation plans. These include defining context and assessing baseline conditions; setting technically and financially sustainable objectives; planning finances; developing and implementing plans; and monitoring, adjustments and post-closure land-use management. This type of planning constitutes a proactive approach to quarry operations and rehabilitation, applicable for both new and existing sites. As such, legal compliance should always be considered as the minimum requirement, and operators should leave sites in a safe and stable condition.
The Guidelines feature 30 operational case studies, covering a wide range of quarry types and local habitats around the world.
The Guidelines also analyze how legislative environment and external stakeholders can be taken on board and henceforth contribute to the successful development and execution of a rehabilitation plan. Continuous communication and open dialogues with stakeholders play a vital role in achieving a mutually beneficial outcome for both stakeholders and operators. CSI solicited, discussed and considered inputs from a wide range of external reviewers during the drafting process.
Mr. Fonta concluded “We firmly believe that the benefits to the natural environment and local communities of progressive and pragmatic quarry rehabilitation outweigh the longterm rehabilitation costs to the cement companies.”
About the Author
Peter Paul van de Wijs is the Managing Director of Communications for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.