2018 CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY REPORT
planet

Land Management, Remediation, and Biodiversity

103-2
The management approach and its components

103-3
Evaluation of the management approach

304-3
Habitats protected or restored

GRI
103-2
103-3
304-3

For Covia and our stakeholders to thrive, it is important that we effectively manage ecosystem health and community safety. As a leading provider of mineral-based material solutions with approximately 50 million tons of capacity in the US, Canada, and Mexico, our operations—like any mining company—impact the land we mine. Wildlife that exists in our local communities include bats, bees, birds, butterflies, fish, reptiles, other insects and mammals, and native plants. We aim to Deliver on Promise to restore disturbed land, and conduct our mining practices with respect and care for local species and ecosystems during mining operations and post-closure.

Governance

Covia obtains all required permits to operate our mines. During the approval process, we work with state and local regulatory agencies to develop land management and reclamation plans. These include site maps, managing overburden removal and mineral deposits, reclamation procedures, on-site audits, and financial assurance for the completion of site reclamation. When possible, we collaborate with stakeholders to restore land, wildlife habitats, and viable land uses at these locations.

In Canada, Covia operates on land under treaty with several First Nations, and in Mexico, we have facilities located near communities of indigenous peoples—groups protected by national or international legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to an area. We communicate informally with these groups, and engage formally through the respective governments.

Covia actively works to conserve habitat areas through education, partnerships, and funding. We go beyond compliance for land management standards by participating in national and state environmental certification programs, such as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Green Tier program, and international certification programs such as the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC).

Even as Covia’s mining activity fluctuates based on market conditions, we maintain our focus on operating responsibly. We work with state and local agencies and Tribal Nations to monitor and secure idled facilities, ensure permit compliance, and continue to foster positive relationships where our facilities are located, whether active or idled.

Performance

Covia’s partnership with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) extends nearly three decades. Through the WHC, we educate the community on topics such as the importance of pollinators, particularly bees, to our ecosystem. Our employees work with school groups to plant pollinator gardens and construct bee habitats in the communities where we operate. Covia also works with regional partners such as the Wisconsin Bat Program to protect species taking shelter in our mines. Across regions, we continue to plant trees, pollinator and vegetable gardens; build bird, duck, and bat houses; and more.

In 2018, Covia demonstrated our sustained commitment to responsible land management and the protection of biodiversity through the following certification for land management, reclamation, and biodiversity practices:

  • Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) “Conservation Certification” received at 36 Covia facilities – located in 22 states and provinces – including 11 Gold Certified sites
  • WHC Caves and Subterranean Habitats Award and Species of Concern Project Award recognized our ongoing conservation efforts at our Bay City/Hager City, Wisconsin, underground mine
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Green Tier certification awarded for Covia’s robust environmental management system, our history of a good environmental record, and a willingness to exceed regulatory requirements at four of our Wisconsin mines: Hager City/Bay City, Maiden Rock, Menomonie, and Tunnel City
  • Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, Green Masters Award presented to two locations; this award only recognizes the top 20 percent of applicants
  • Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP), Environmental Excellence (Platinum Certificate of Achievement) awarded to Wedron, IL
  • Clean Industry Certification is promoted by the Mexican federal government and is an evaluation of how a company voluntarily demonstrates compliance to all applicable environmental regulations. Our Ahuazotepec and Tlaxcala plants received Clean Industry Certification in 2018

Habitats protected or restored (acres)

 

2018 Area

Reclaimed

Total Area

Reclaimed

United States Operations

74.4

2768.9

Canada Operations

0.0

38.1

Mexico Operations

25.0

316.5

Total Covia Operations

99.4

3123.5

*Data from 2018 Reclamation Liability Report

Opportunity

In 2019, Covia hopes to complete our Facility Land and Information System Project, which started in 2018. This project will assess our combined operational footprint, including land owned, disturbed, restored, and other permitting obligations and reclamation liabilities. This plan will inform our land management and reclamation strategy and policies moving forward.

HIGHLIGHT STORY
Covia Stands Behind Ducks Unlimited (DU) with Gift

After a long and productive history of partnership, Covia has committed to support DU’s work to advance wetlands conservation across North America over five years. Covia believes in the power of long-term partnerships built on integrity, reliability, and an innovation-solutions mindset to deliver shared success. This strong partnership is made even stronger with the alignment of our collective employee bases – Covia’s employees across Canada, the United States, and Mexico align closely with DU’s conservation landscape. This means Covia and DU will collectively and positively conserve more landscape, enhance more wetland environments, and educate more individuals and corporations on the importance of waterfowl habitats. 

Ducks Unlimited is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wetland and waterfowl habitats for more than 80 years. To learn more about DU and their important projects, please visit http://www.ducks.org.

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