September 2, 2020
Lee GouldThe Smart About Salt Council (SASC) is a unique, not-for-profit organization which was incubated through a government-industry partnership. SASC is dedicated to supporting all stakeholders involved in winter maintenance to adopt best management practices (BMP’s) in a win-win model that supports safety, meaningfully addresses business concerns of contracts, owners/operations, procurement professionals and alike, but also mitigates clear environmental concerns.

SASC has been in operation for just over a decade. During this time, the organization has developed robust and award-winning training that is available online in both English and French, and in-person (when the Covid-19 global pandemic subsides).

SASC continues to expand the delivery of programs and services throughout North America, forging a partnership in 2019 with New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) to support their successful Green SnowPro program, which brings liability relief to those that are trained and certified.
The New Hampshire program is instructive in so far as for businesses (contractors and facility owners) the main benefit of the program, i.e. the liability relief from slip and fall claims, is predicated on using agreed BMP’s understood through training. It’s a program that is being closely followed and considered in many jurisdictions throughout Canada and the United States, as they strive to balance environmental issues, business concerns and public demands. Even as state and provincial governments review their options, we’re increasingly seeing procurement efforts (tenders) requiring demonstration of knowledge, professionalism and application of BMP’s. In part, this is why SASC also offers its own certification, which like the New Hampshire, effort is tied to training.

Certified Smart About Salt Council contractors, owners and others must complete a mandatory basic “Essentials of Salt Management” training course every five years and a refresher course every two years. The course materials cover 13 teaching modules that focus around everything from salt science and weather, through to risk management and record-keeping. The comprehensive nature of the training and certification is one of the reasons that when put into practice contractors can often achieve reductions in business insurance and a due-diligence defence against slip and fall claims.

SASC has also taken its efforts one-step further, developing and launching program verification efforts in 2019 that seek to support the winter maintenance industry in their efforts, provide a bridge in communication between parties (typically contractors and facility operators) and address public concerns. This industry-first program also provides SASC with insight into how BMP’s are being applied in the field and how training and certification efforts can be continually improved.

Those wishing to learn more about the unique programs and services offered by the Smart About Salt Council (SASC) are encouraged to visit On the website contractors can also sign up for training. The cost is $375 (less than the price of a cup of coffee a day) and Register Intent to Certify is $226.
Lee Gould
Executive Director, Smart About Salt Council