Facing the climate change challenges in the mining and mineral industry as providers of a sustainable manufacturing process

Herrera Herbert, Juan and Castilla Gómez, Jorge (2011). Facing the climate change challenges in the mining and mineral industry as providers of a sustainable manufacturing process. In: "SIM2011. PROCEEDINGS OF SUSTAINABLE INTELLIGENT MANUFACTURING", 29/06/2011 - 01/07/2011, Leiria, Portugal. ISBN 978-989-8481-03-0. pp. 195-202.


Title: Facing the climate change challenges in the mining and mineral industry as providers of a sustainable manufacturing process
  • Herrera Herbert, Juan
  • Castilla Gómez, Jorge
Item Type: Presentation at Congress or Conference (Article)
Event Dates: 29/06/2011 - 01/07/2011
Event Location: Leiria, Portugal
Title of Book: SIM2011. Proceedings of sustainable intelligent manufacturing
Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-989-8481-03-0
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Minas (UPM)
Department: Explotación de Recursos Minerales y Obras Subterráneas [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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A sustainable manufacturing process must rely on an also sustainable raw materials and energy supply. This paper is intended to show the results of the studies developed on sustainable business models for the minerals industry as a fundamental previous part of a sustainable manufacturing process. As it has happened in other economic activities, the mining and minerals industry has come under tremendous pressure to improve its social, developmental, and environmental performance. Mining, refining, and the use and disposal of minerals have in some instances led to significant local environmental and social damage. Nowadays, like in other parts of the corporate world, companies are more routinely expected to perform to ever higher standards of behavior, going well beyond achieving the best rate of return for shareholders. They are also increasingly being asked to be more transparent and subject to third-party audit or review, especially in environmental aspects. In terms of environment, there are three inter-related areas where innovation and new business models can make the biggest difference: carbon, water and biodiversity. The focus in these three areas is for two reasons. First, the industrial and energetic minerals industry has significant footprints in each of these areas. Second, these three areas are where the potential environmental impacts go beyond local stakeholders and communities, and can even have global impacts, like in the case of carbon. So prioritizing efforts in these areas will ultimately be a strategic differentiator as the industry businesses continues to grow. Over the next forty years, world?s population is predicted to rise from 6.300 million to 9.500 million people. This will mean a huge demand of natural resources. Indeed, consumption rates are such that current demand for raw materials will probably soon exceed the planet?s capacity. As awareness of the actual situation grows, the public is demanding goods and services that are even more environmentally sustainable. This means that massive efforts are required to reduce the amount of materials we use, including freshwater, minerals and oil, biodiversity, and marine resources. It?s clear that business as usual is no longer possible. Today, companies face not only the economic fallout of the financial crisis; they face the substantial challenge of transitioning to a low-carbon economy that is constrained by dwindling natural resources easily accessible. Innovative business models offer pioneering companies an early start toward the future. They can signal to consumers how to make sustainable choices and provide reward for both the consumer and the shareholder. Climate change and carbon remain major risk discontinuities that we need to better understand and deal with. In the absence of a global carbon solution, the principal objective of any individual country should be to reduce its global carbon emissions by encouraging conservation. The mineral industry internal response is to continue to focus on reducing the energy intensity of our existing operations through energy efficiency and the progressive introduction of new technology. Planning of the new projects must ensure that their energy footprint is minimal from the start. These actions will increase the long term resilience of the business to uncertain energy and carbon markets. This focus, combined with a strong demand for skills in this strategic area for the future requires an appropriate change in initial and continuing training of engineers and technicians and their awareness of the issue of eco-design. It will also need the development of measurement tools for consistent comparisons between companies and the assessments integration of the carbon footprint of mining equipments and services in a comprehensive impact study on the sustainable development of the Economy.

More information

Item ID: 20802
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/20802/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:20802
Official URL: http://sim.ipleiria.pt/sim-2011/
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 18 Mar 2014 11:58
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2014 11:21
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