BLA publishes 2015 sustainable development report
British Lime Association reports continuing sustainability progress through challenging economic conditions
THE British Lime Association (BLA) has published its 2015 sustainable development report, highlighting how the sector has continued to invest through challenging economic conditions to make UK lime production more efficient and sustainable.
Richard Stansfield, chairman of the BLA, said: ‘The economic crisis and in particular the downturn and closure of some steel operations have severely impacted the industry. Lime is used extensively as a flux for removing impurities in the production of iron and steel and until recently about 35% of all industrial production was used in that way.
‘The steel crisis has had serious financial implications for members, whose operations are traditionally located in rural areas with limited employment opportunities. Lime sales in 2016 are expected to fall to 1.1 million tonnes as a result.’
He added: ‘In spite of these difficulties, producers have made significant technical improvements to their processes and we are pleased to report on initiatives to reduce environmental impacts. The sector continues to invest, improving our processes and developing innovative products and markets.’
Other highlights within the report include:
- Technical improvements to carbon and energy efficiency processes to reduce environmental impacts, for example through reduced electricity consumption
- An increase in exports which now account for around 20% of total sales
- Leading the way in improving health and safety performance and leadership initiatives that are being shared to improve the working environment
- Helping to support the local economy and engaging with the local community.
Lime is critical to the delivery of the Government’s plans to build more homes and renew national transport and energy infrastructure, as well as repairing and maintaining local roads, schools and hospitals.
Following the EU referendum result, the lime sector has urged the Government to take the necessary steps so that the UK remains an attractive place for inward and domestic investment and that both the steel and construction sectors regain their previous momentum.