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New Canadian organization: Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA)

Aggregate, SERA

New Canadian organization: Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA)

As the Canadian not-for-profit organization working to develop a certification system for socially and environmentally responsible aggregates, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA) offers the building industry an opportunity to identify and purchase construction materials that meet international best practices. 

Thomas Mueller, President & CEO, Canada Green Building Council will be joining SERA’s Founding Board.

“Aggregate extraction is a growing environmental issue and I expect that Canadians will be very supportive of a move towards standards that address social and environmental impacts appropriately,” said Mueller. “Similar types of certification have gone a long way in improving the practices of other resource sectors like forestry and fisheries.”

The SERA Founding Board will benefit from Mueller's extensive knowledge of the Canadian building industry as it works to set, field-test and reach consensus on standards and auditing processes for aggregate certification. The addition of the CaGBC President & CEO to the SERA Foundation Board is an indication of the SERA's successful efforts to attract a broad array of stakeholder interests.

"Having Thomas Mueller on our Founding Board is a big step forward for SERA," said Michael Fenn, Chair, SERA Founding Board. "Few people are more familiar with the market-based impacts of certification systems based on high standards of practice than Mr. Mueller. The SERA Founding Board is very pleased to have him recognize and participate in the important work we are undertaking."

The SERA Founding Board draws support from leaders in the industry and community who are seriously interested in developing world-class aggregate certification and advocating for higher social and environmental practices. The Board, which includes Vice-Chair Maia Becker from the Forest Stewardship Council, Treasurer Peter Kendall of the Schad Foundation, and Secretary Eric Stevenson of Environmental Defence, has developed an initial workplan which includes field-testing and revision of the draft standards by a technical advisory group representing industry, environmental, municipal, community and Aboriginal interests.

Aggregates are essential ingredients for the building and maintenance of our cities, towns and rural communities. Aggregate materials are used to build roads, bridges and hospitals as well as filling many other uses. While aggregates are essential to the way we live, aggregate quarrying and transport generate community concerns over environmental, wildlife and hydro-geological impact, noise, air pollution, truck traffic, perceived reductions in property values, and – in some instances – a legacy of abandoned pits and quarries.

"The CaGBC has long been a supporter of product certification systems such as Environmental Choice/EcoLogo Program, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and others which are able to recognize products that are sourced and manufactured in a manner above and beyond minimum legal requirements," said Mueller, President & CEO, Canada Green Building Council.

About SERA (www.seracanada.ca)
Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA) is a not-for-profit organization that will create, administer and promote widespread support for certification of responsibly sourced construction materials. Its initial focus is on establishing a voluntary certification system to promote responsibly sourced aggregate materials in Ontario, offering operators an innovative way to demonstrate their efforts to recognize the social and environmental expectations of the local community.

About the CaGBC (www.cagbc.org)
The CaGBC is the leading national industry organization advancing green building practices for livable communities. It represents more than 2,300 member organizations involved in the design, construction and operation of buildings. The Council owns the Canadian license for LEED and implements the LEED® Green Building Rating System in Canada. For more information on the CaGBC visit www.cagbc.org.