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MPA Sustainable Development Report

Association members deliver key sustainability improvements despite challenging economic backdrop

INDUSTRY improvements in sustainability have continued in several key areas in spite of the difficult economic backdrop for operators, where growth prospects are uncertain and markets remain 20% to 40% below pre-recession levels.

The Mineral Products Association’s third Sustainable Development Report has just been published illustrating the continuing progress of MPA members and the industry in areas such as health and safety, carbon emissions, biodiversity, nature conservation and resource efficiency.

Highlights from the Report include:

  • MPA is committed to halving lost-time injury (LTI) rates by 2014 and has the overarching objective of Zero Harm.
  • MPA members have planted 1 million trees over the past five years.
  • Cement industry direct carbon emissions fell in 2010 but aggregates sector emissions increased.
  • Recycled and secondary materials accounted for 28% of the GB aggregates market in 2010.
  • Per capita production of aggregates in GB in 2010 was 3.3 tonnes compared with a European average of 5.3 tonnes.
  • Per capita cement consumption in GB in 2010 was 158kg compared with the European average of 404kg.
  • 9.3% of aggregates sold were moved by rail.
  • The average road delivery distance for aggregates increased to 45.7km in 2010 with average loads increasing to 22.1 tonnes.
  • The ratio of the area of aggregates sites restored to the area of land prepared for quarrying was 1 to 0.8
  • 20,569 visitors were recorded at aggregates and cement sites in 2010.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘Our third Sustainable Development Report shows where we have gained considerable ground. For example, there is a growing awareness of the contribution that good building design can make to sustainability and how the use of concrete can significantly reduce the whole-life energy performance of buildings through thermal mass benefits.

‘Our 2010 Asphalt conference highlighted how effective maintenance policies and interventions can ensure better-performing road surfaces – improving safety and sustainability. Also, in 2011 we launched our Biodiversity Strategy and we have been delighted at the progress the industry has made in working with conservation organizations, NGOs, public agencies, local government and local communities to improve conservation and biodiversity outcomes.’

However, the MPA has highlighted concerns about certain government policies. There is disappointment with the Government’s decision to scrap the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund in England in March 2011, a view shared by many nature conservation groups.

In addition, the MPA believes that government should not impose excessive costs on energy-intensive industries, such cement and lime, which could drive the supply of essential and indigenously available resources overseas. Such a move would not only threaten security of supply, but would simply export jobs and carbon for no environmental gain.

Mr Jackson added: ‘We will continue to lobby for the reinstatement of the ALSF in a more focused format which can help deliver the Government’s aims for localism and biodiversity. The MPA also believes that genuine sustainable development demands UK industries and supply chains are both resource efficient – where our industry is best in class in Europe – and also financially sustainable.’


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