Environmental stewardship by Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) member quarries across South Africa has improved significantly since the inception of the Aspasa About Face environmental management programme in 1994.
The programme has guided and assisted Aspasa member quarries, increasing their environmental performance from a mediocre level to being among the “best quarry operators in the world”, according to Aspasa.
The About Face programme has continually evolved since inception to the latest version – Aspasa About Face 2017 – which fully conforms to the latest issue of the international ISO 14 001:2015 Environmental Management System. Aspasa About Face 2017 has been specifically adapted to the requirements of the South African surface mining industry, thereby providing a management tool and assessment programme to assist Aspasa members in the continual improvement of their indivi- dual environmental management systems (EMSes).
Aspasa About Face 2017 is a compulsory programme for Aspasa members’ operations. The programme places strong emphasis on management commitment to environmental stewardship. It actively promotes awareness of legal requirements and environmental management, which emphasises stakeholder engagement, enhanced resource use, waste reduction and the lowering of environmental footprints.
The programme is supported by specific environmental training and awareness building by industry experts, thereby changing members’ yearly auditing procedures to a value-adding, independent assessment of each member’s operation or operations.
The net result of participation in the Aspasa About Face programme is a significant improvement in member operations’ environmental stewardship, with the benefits including legal compliance, pollution prevention and, where it cannot be prevented, reduction to within authorised limits, degradation reduction and general awareness improvement.
Meanwhile, Aspasa has registered increased participation in the About Face programme, which has risen by an average of 10% a year since 2012.
Aspasa executive director Nico Pienaar says that, by joining Aspasa and participating in its About Face programme, members gain access to information from global experts and peers on the latest developments in environmental management, and to the association’s industry-specific EMS, policies, procedures and related resources.