Sustainability

The industrial minerals sector recognises sustainable development as a vital objective for society and readily acknowledges its responsibility for helping to achieve this critical aim. To take the sector forward in a sustainable way, the members of CCA-Europe have agreed to work actively towards continuous improvement in economic, environmental and social performance. (IMA-Europe Sustainable Development Charter)

REACH

The new EU Chemicals Policy known as the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals) entered into force on 1 June 2007. Under its terms, any company that manufactures or imports a chemical substance in quantities of more than one tonne per year is required to register it in a central database. The objective of this new Regulation is to protect human health and the environment, while maintaining the competitiveness and enhancing the innovative capacity of the EU chemicals industry.

CCA-Europe, representing the majority of the European manufacturers of calcium carbonate, has been appointed as Substance Information Exchange Forum (SIEF) Facilitator on the REACH Consortium for Calcium Carbonate. In addition, acting as a third party representative of a manufacturer, CCA-Europe was also appointed as the Lead Registrant for calcium carbonate (CaCO3, EINECS 207-439-9, CAS 471-34-1). For more information, visit the IMA REACH Hub or the website of the European Chemical Agency ( http://echa.europa.eu/ ).

Health & Safety

Studies on the skin and eye irritation potential of calcium carbonate have been performed to improve the knowledge of calcium carbonate to public health. These studies were performed in anticipation of impending legislation and in the absence of scientific data in the literature. The results of these studies are made available to the public so as to prevent the duplication of animal testing (download summary report, December 2005).

Environmental & Social Issues

Hundreds of communities around Europe depend upon the mineral industry for their economic well-being. It is our job to ensure that we are good neighbours, actively involved in community projects and with excellent records of environmental management, health and safety, and site restoration. Quarrying is a long-term commitment and CCA-Europe’s members adopt a long-term view of the impact of every aspect of their activities.

Life Cycle Assessment

In 2003, the Commission published a Communication on Integrated Product Policy stating that Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the best framework for assessing the potential environmental impact of products. In this context, a European Platform on Life Cycle Assessment was set up, aiming at developing a European Reference Life Cycle Data System (ELCD) which shall contain a core Life Cycle Inventory data (LCI). European associations were asked to collaborate in its development by providing the JRC (EC Joint Research Centre) with accurate LCI data.

Recognising the importance of such a database, CCA-Europe actively participated in the project by developing LCA data on Calcium carbonate (<63 upm, >63 upm, slurry) used as extender in paints and coatings; filler in paper, adhesives, sealants and plastics such as PVC, unsaturated polyesters, propylene and polyethylene. (For more information see the IMA-Europe website - http://www.ima-eu.org/lcaproject.html ).

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the variety of all life and natural processes on Earth, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. While mineral raw materials play a vital and valuable role in human wellbeing providing products that meet the needs of today's society, the way they are extracted from the earth has a potential impact on biodiversity. The calcium carbonate producers are well aware of this and of their responsibility to support biodiversity and are actively working towards its conservation and enhancement. At many sites, conserving biodiversity is part of the decision-making process and a foundation of land-restoration and water management policy. Biodiversity is taken into account before, during and after extraction and, in some cases its successful management has led to the creation of new natural habitats. Many quarry operators solicit the help of biodiversity specialists and work in partnership with government, communities and other stakeholders on biodiversity. CCA-Europe adheres to the IMA-Europe Biodiversity Statement.

Case studies: