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MPA publishes first Sustainable Development Report

THE Mineral Products Association’s first Sustainable Development Report provides further evidence of the strong sustainability performance of the mineral products industry and MPA members in particular.

Sustainable development is a top priority for both government and industry, and the mineral products sector has a key role to play in the sustainability of both the built environment and the natural environment.

The report, which has just been published, demonstrates the MPA’s commitment to this top industry priority and the progress which has been made. Based on 2008 data from companies supplying 77% of the UK ‘aggregates, cement, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete, key findings revealed in the report include:
  • Since 1999 MPA members producing aggregates and mineral products have reduced HSE-reportable injuries by 80%, and in the last five years the cement industry has reduced the number of lost-time injuries by 70%.
  • The cement industry recorded a 40% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2008.
  • Recycled and secondary materials now make up 25% of the GB aggregates market. GB has the highest recycling rate in Europe.
  • The proportion of the UK’s land area being used for quarrying is estimated at 0.13%. All of this land will be restored.
  • The UK mineral products industry is a world leader in terms of the quality of its land restoration work. The MPA’s restoration award scheme has been running for 40 years to recognize outstanding restoration.
  • GB has a relatively low use of aggregates per head of population and the highest recycling rate in Europe, indicating a very high level of resource efficiency.
  • The concrete industry already significantly exceeds the Government’s 2012 target for the responsible sourcing of construction materials.
  • The proportion of fuel comprising waste materials (% thermal) in cement manufacture is 26.7%.
  • The number of industry sites operating with a certified environmental management system (EMS) continues to increase. The proportion of surveyed aggregates quarries and cement, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete plants with certified EMS’s was 77%, 100%, 84% and 68% respectively.
  • MPA members are committed to further improvements in biodiversity and the MPA actively supports the Nature After Minerals initiative.
  • In 2008 there were 240 liaison groups recorded in aggregates quarries, 41 cement liaison group meetings, the number of visitors to aggregates quarries was 12,586 and there were 8,489 visitors to cement kiln sites.
  • More than 650ha of industry land were subject to archaeological investigation in 2008.
  • The average road delivery distances for aggregates, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete in 2008 were 38km, 29km and 8.7km respectively. Seventeen per cent of aggregates are primarily delivered by non-road modes of transport.
  • MPA members planted 129,799 trees and built 3.5km of dry stone walls.
Based around the Government’s own sustainable development priorities, namely sustainable consumption and production; climate change and energy; natural resources and enhancing the environment; and creating sustainable communities, the report demonstrates industry progress against a detailed series of key performance indicators, while the supporting appendices offer more detailed 2008 statistical information.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘I believe we have arrived at a point where applying sustainability principles to a business is now a mainstream contributor to the bottom line. Most companies now also accept that they have to improve transparency, performance and communications, not just by behaving sustainably but gathering and reporting the hard data needed to verify their claims.

‘The MPA has an important role to play, not just for its own members, but in enabling the industry’s customers to pursue the objectives of the UK’s ‘Sustainable Construction Strategy’. We can be proud of the fact that we have acted quickly and positively to adopt and encourage responsible sourcing across the sector with significant volumes of products already certified as responsibly sourced.

‘This is a massively challenging commercial environment in which to operate let alone drive forward sustainability issues. Yet we are still doing just that, and are determined to do better still.’

The MPA’s first Sustainable Development Report can be downloaded from the MPA website and hard-back copies can be requested by contacting the Association on tel: (020) 7963 8000.


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