The objective of the latter is to promote widespread application of environmental, social and economic best practices in the mineral exploration industry. This project helps QMEA members to share best practices and promote them to all stakeholders in the sector.
UL ECOLOGO® certification for mineral exploration
The adherence of companies to the standard is a major asset for the industry in its accountability and social responsibility initiatives. The certification program represents a source of relevant and independently validated information and fuels corporate communications about the impacts, spinoffs and benefits of industry activities.
The Standard applies to companies working in mineral exploration in Quebec and wish to be recognized for their application of good sustainable development practices. Compliance with the requirements of a standard promotes strategic planning and risk management. Certified companies are better prepared in the event of legislative change and benefit from better relations with the various stakeholders, which promotes the social acceptability of projects and helps to reduce delays related to their activities.
The certification program is adapted to the mineral development process, which involves three main stages with varying degrees of environmental and community impact: prospection, exploration, and development. The requirements of the standard may vary depending on the nature of the work performed by the company. Full audits could occur every three years, followed by partial audits in the two subsequent years. The scope and duration of audits will vary depending on the type of business (small / large / service provider) and level of readiness.
UL is responsible for the publication and maintenance of the standard, as well as for the certification of applicant companies. UL is an independent, non-governmental organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). With a mission to public safety, UL has been developing standards for over 115 years (since 1903). UL has published 1,614 standards worldwide and maintains 75 standards related to the environment and sustainable development.
To facilitate companies’ adherence to the certification standard, the QMEA offers an accompanying program adapted to the industry’s needs and operations. Designed to reduce learning time and support applicant companies with their compliance process, the program helps to better control the costs of companies’ accreditation. The QMEA has developed a web platform and has hired a professional resource specifically assigned to supporting businesses towards an autonomous adherence process. The program includes various workshops related to the certification process, normative requirements and available tools, in addition to personalized assistance and follow-up.