British Lime Association report emphasizes important contribution of UK lime sector in challenging times
THE 2020 British Lime Association (BLA) Sustainable Development Report sets out the sector’s performance during 2019 but highlights that 2020 has been a year of significant change, the impact of which will not be known until 2021 when data is available.
BLA members continued operations during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, lime being an essential product for the provision of safe drinking water and treatment of wastewater, and for several important manufacturing processes, including the production of steel and plastics used to produce goods critical to combating COVID-19.
Lime is also used to clean emissions from waste incinerators, energy-from-waste plants and other large combustion plants.
On 31 March 2020, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) welcomed the statement from the Rt Hon. Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for BEIS, which acknowledged the essential contribution that the mineral products industry – including lime – is making by supporting the construction industry and wider society during this pandemic.
The UK lime sector maintained its sales performance during 2019 at around 1.2 million tonnes. Export performance was maintained at around 15% of sales, with an estimated value of £3 million. However, it is reasonable to expect production to dip during 2020.
During 2019, BLA members continued to work collaboratively to achieve their Zero Harm target and maintain their UK-wide, European and International collaboration to share good practice.
The number of incidents across all employees and contractors has reduced by 50% from 2011 levels. Health and safety considerations have remained paramount throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and BLA members have made a particular effort to ensure that good health and safety practices are maintained in addition to the new hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infection.
Moreover, striving to be good neighbours, BLA members and associate members routinely engage with their local communities, making an active contribution through formal volunteering and by encouraging informal staff-organized charitable activities.
The newly published report also highlights:
- 66kg/tonne lower CO2 through decarbonization from dolime combustion since 2011
- 36% lower waste to landfill than 2011
- 34% of fossil fuel replaced with alternative fuels in dolime manufacture
- 12% increase in export sales since 2011 and a 35% increase since 2006
- 4,310 tonnes fewer particulate, NOx and SO2 emissions than 2011
- No Category 1 or 2 environmental incidents.
Commenting on the sector’s performance, Dr Rebecca Hooper, director of the BLA, said: ‘2019 showed ongoing, solid performance by BLA members and 2020 has shown that continued UK lime production is essential to support a healthy society.
‘We are proud of our members for maintaining COVID-safe operations during 2020 and the contribution they have made to critical services during the pandemic. Without doubt, 2021 will bring new challenges as we transition away from the EU and make progress towards net-zero carbon emissions.’
The BLA Sustainable Development Report 2020 can be downloaded here.