That is one of the main findings in the MPA's new Sustainable Development Report 2019. The report covers a range of data from 2018/19 and is aligned with MPA’s seven main strategic priorities and the corresponding objectives and targets.
Despite challenging market conditions, not helped by Brexit uncertainty, the MPA says that the annual snapshot confirms that performance was particularly strong in the production of recycled and secondary aggregates, transportation of aggregates and cement by rail freight, and habitat creation and tree planting.
The period also saw a re-focussing of MPA’s health & safety activities on mitigating the 6 high consequence hazards, ‘The Fatal 6’, that have been the main cause of fatalities in the industry over the last ten years, with initial focus on ‘Contact with moving machinery and isolation’.
Other major findings in the report include that CO2 emissions in the cement industry reduced 25% from 1998 and there was an increasing use of waste derived raw materials, using alternative fuels instead of traditional fossil fuels.
MPA members have recorded the creation of 8,327ha of priority habitat and have a further 10,770ha planned. In 2019, the total number of trees planted by the industry reached 503,488.
Over the last five years (2013-2018) the rail freight tonnage of mineral products has increased by 21% and is now the largest user of the rail freight network in terms of tonnes carried.
The MPA Good Neighbour Scheme pilot was also launched during the 2018/19 period.
MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson commented on the findings: “The UK mineral products industry continues to evidence progress on performance improvement across its seven strategic priorities in order to achieve its vision for 2025.
"We are one of the few industrial sectors that has been reporting publicly on sustainable development for well over 10 years. Our members are operating to standards which place the UK in the top tier globally although this has yet to be fully recognised and valued by the UK Government. We not only have a great story to tell, we are telling it and backing it up with evidence. Mineral products are essential to our economy and quality of life and the industry continues to demonstrate its commitment to raising standards and improving perceptions of the industry.”