European Minerals Day puts spotlight on sustainable cement industry

European Minerals Day puts spotlight on sustainable cement industry
Published: 18 June 2013


The European Minerals Day (EMD), which was held from 6-24 May 2013, offered a platform for a wide range of events aimed at promoting the minerals sector in Europe. The sustainable development of the sector took centre-stage in exhibitions, debates and other activities.

Between 6-8 May an exhibition in the European Parliament focussing on the whole lifecycle of minerals – extraction, processing, downstream and recycling – not only demonstrated the importance and contribution of minerals but also highlighted the latest developments in innovation, biodiversity, ecosystem management and resource efficiency in the cement industry. The event was actively supported by Europe’s cement association Cembureau, amongst others.

One week later, on 13 May, senior European Commission officials, MEPS and key industry representatives participated in a high-level dinner debate in the Parliament, hosted by MEPs Paul Rübig, Prof Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Jo Leinen, Roger Helmer, and Konrad Szymanski. Mr Rübig called for the creation of ‘the right conditions for our industry’ as well as win-win situations. Mattia Pelegrini, from the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) emphasised that “There is a need to change the public perception of the industry, of providing legal certainty to investors, and of policies actually being implemented”. Cembureau Chief Executive, Koen Coppenholle, added that Europe needs to “focus on a single integrated industrial policy, which offers a more predictable and stable environment”. 

As part of the EMD, stakeholders also took part in the European Parliament Intergroup “Climate Change, biodiversity and sustainable development’” Working Group on Raw Materials on 16 May. The group advocates the need for Europe to develop an industrial vision and ensure a level playing field at international level.

Vipiteno, Italy, was home to the Central Launch event on 24 May. Quarries across Europe opened their doors to local communities to offer a view of the work undertaken in the minerals sector.