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New biodiversity management guide launched for the cement and aggregates industry
Type:Press|InternationalNews  Date:2014-11-5  Resource:  Hits:56664  Print Close

New biodiversity management guide launched for the cement and aggregates industry

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), in collaboration with CEMBUREAU and other industry associations in the cement and aggregates sector, has launched a new guide to encourage companies to responsibly manage biodiversity throughout their operations.

The guide, ‘Integrated Biodiversity Management System’, was developed over four years by an independent panel of biodiversity and ecosystem experts in consultation with industry practitioners and other stakeholders. Following numerous visits to quarries in several countries, including Spain, Belgium and China, the panel created a procedure for adopting a systematic approach to safeguarding biodiversity on cement and aggregate landholdings.

“Due to the nature of their operations, cement and aggregate companies can have important impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, and with that comes a responsibility to protect biodiversity on industry landholdings,” said Gerard Bos, Director of IUCN’s Global Business and Biodiversity Programme. “Through integrated biodiversity management, these companies have the opportunity to become biodiversity stewards both in and around their extraction sites.”

Compatibility between quarrying activities and biodiversity is achievable through correct resource management during the quarrying phases in the cement sector. For example, a range of studies conducted in several European countries has demonstrated that correctly managed quarries are able to provide habitats to some protected species. In addition, proper planning and rehabilitation can positively contribute to biodiversity conservation,” explained Koen Coppenholle, Chief Executive of CEMBUREAU.

By implementing careful biodiversity management, cement and aggregates companies have an important opportunity to improve their ability to secure permits and maintain a social license to operate among communities surrounding their operations. The ‘Integrated Biodiversity Management System’ has been developed primarily for sustainability and environment managers responsible for implementing company-wide systems for biodiversity management. It is also useful for site managers and managers of small to medium enterprises with extraction operations.

The guide is centered on the development of a policy with clear targets that should shape all company actions on biodiversity. It provides an overview of key steps for cement and aggregates companies to take, including identifying risks and opportunities, prioritising the level of management required at each extraction site, establishing data requirements and maintaining and enhancing biodiversity according to the level of risk.

The development of the ‘Integrated Biodiversity Management System’ is supported by and will be disseminated in collaboration with: the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI); CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association; FICEM, the Inter-American Cement Federation; and UEPG, the European Aggregates Association.

From World Cement

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