Biodiversity erosion, a real international problem
Biodiversity means all living things from every origin and the result of the interactions between all species within one or more ecosystems. Its erosion has been considered as a sensitive international problem since the Rio Convention on biological diversity was drafted in 1992. Under this framework, authorities, financial institutions and the general public’s expectations of industry have grown in the past 20 years.
Humans are thought to be behind most disruptions to biodiversity, particularly through land clearance, deforestation, overexploitation of natural resources and pollution. So it is important that mankind controls its activities’ effects on biodiversity.
A role for ERAMET
Like many other sectors, the ERAMET Groupe’s mining and industrial activities can have biodiversity impacts. These are mainly due to its site coverage, in other words the loss of habitats or geographic units where an organism or population exists in its natural state.
Other impacts are now assessed by the Groupe in addition to site coverage. These may relate to:
- noise or light disturbances, changes in land or sea traffic, or emissions and effluents;
- accidental spread of invasive species, additional pressure on resources (fishing, hunting) as locations are opened up or populations move in.
ERAMET addresses biodiversity by identifying and setting up actions that are relevant to local issues in order to avoid, mitigate and manage these impacts and so ensure that the Groupe develops sustainably in its environment. This process comes under an increasingly stringent regulatory framework but also includes proportionate voluntary actions. Protecting biodiversity is essential for the company. Beyond operating permits, it enables the Groupe to safeguard its activities over the long term and meet society’s constantly growing demands.
A policy that sets down the Groupe’s commitment
ERAMET has built up substantial experience on environmental issues, particularly biodiversity. Learning from its initiatives in preventing and mitigating its activities’ impacts, the Groupe adopted a biodiversity policy in June 2014. This policy draws on its sustainable development policy and environmental charter and is in line with its ethics charter. It also comes under the continuous improvement process deployed in the Groupe.
The policy was developed in cooperation with representatives of units, divisions and head office, through a workGroupe set up to ensure consistency in the practices of the Groupe’s production and mining units with respect to a single commitment.
It is structured along 3 lines:
- Better knowing and understanding biodiversity and its functions.
- Acting to preserve biodiversity.
- Increasing awareness, exchanges and knowledge sharing.
These principles are applied on site in proportion to local issues.