Voluntary producers association Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) notes a significant improvement in the environmental stewardship of its member quarries across South Africa since the inception of its About Face programme.
Launched in 1994, the programme has guided and assisted member quarries in exceeding mediocre environmental performance to be among the best quarry operators in the world, says Aspasa, adding that participation in the programme has increased by an average of 10% a year since 2012.
About Face 2017, which fully complies with the latest issue of the ISO 14 001:2015 environmental management system, has been specifically adapted to the requirements of the South African surface mining industry.
The programme provides a management tool and assessment programme to assist Aspasa members in the continual improvement of their individual environmental management systems.
About Face 2017 is compulsory for all Aspasa member operations and places strong emphasis on management commitments to environmental stewardship.
The programme actively promotes awareness of legal requirements and environmental management that emphasises stakeholder engagement, optimal resource use, waste reduction and the decrease of a project’s environmental footprint.
Environmental training and awareness building by industry experts support the programme, changing the annual audit into a value-adding, independent assessment of members’ operations.
“The net result of participation in the About Face programme is a significant improvement in member operations’ environmental stewardship, with benefits relating to legal compliance, pollution prevention and, where it cannot be prevented, reduction to within authorised limits, degradation minimisation and general awareness improvement,” explains Aspasa.“
The association describes the programme as a valuable tool in the industry’s commitment to meaningful self- governance.