November marks several significant events both globally and for the IQ, reflecting the challenges we are facing as a society and highlighting some of the actions we are taking as an industry to drive better outcomes for the future.
One of the issues we often discuss at IQ Board of Trustees meetings is the need for society to recognise the need for our sector and our profession.
In last month’s column, the focus centred on the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) for all of us as members of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) and the wider industry. The June issue of Quarry Management also provided a timely insight into the work the industry is undertaking in driving innovation across a range of areas.
At the time of writing, we are at the point in the year where we are beginning to see the signs of spring with warmer and brighter weather on its way. It also marks the one-year anniversary since the full impact of the pandemic first hit us all. Whilst there is still some way to go, for most of us there is now a sense of real hope for a pathway out of the pandemic.
The early months of 2021 have brought a sense of déjà vu as many parts of the world remain focused on the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a stark reminder for us all that no matter how well prepared we believe we are, there will be issues to challenge our thinking and approach as to how we operate.
It is hard to believe we have already entered the second half of the year. The first six months of 2020 has been an extraordinary period that will continue to affect how we live our lives well beyond the next few months and years.
Celebrating what we do in the mineral attractiveness sector is something we should do more often. We work in an industry which we can be proud of and we should share that pride in how we present what we do to our colleagues, our families, our communities, the press and the wider public.
Responsibility is a word that gets used a lot in our industry; corporate social responsibility, environmental responsibility; personal responsibility. Our responsibility is that what we do as a sector impacts upon our economy, our society, the environment and the lives of countless individuals across the UK, Europe and beyond.
The minerals extractives sector plays an instrumental role in our everyday lives, yet quarrying and related value-added activity has an impact on the environment that requires active management. Environmental issues represent a key priority for professionals in our sector and there are many programmes and schemes in place which not only work to reduce the negative impacts, but also add significant natural capital to the industry’s balance sheet.