Presidents Blog

Leading through nature

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 31, 2022 9:45:00 AM / by Martin Riley, IQ President posted in Environment

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Incredibly, we are now entering the year's second quarter. Nearly everyone I speak to agrees that 2022 seems to be passing by like a blur. This time of year brings the arrival of spring in the UK and hopefully the promise of better weather on the way.

Seeing the first signs of new life and growth around us is an excellent reminder of the positive impact we make on the natural environment in which we operate. Most of us can probably recall one of the plenty of case studies highlighting the various projects that different companies have put into place in recent years. These projects aim to provide sites of high ecological value during and at the end of operational activities, supporting wildlife and biodiversity.

Often these spaces also create vital and valued facilities for local communities that have become so important for everyone, particularly in light of the events of the last couple of years. The MPA's Quarries & Nature - A 50 Year Success Story showcases the excellent work that has been carried out and the value that our industry contributes to this area.

However, as members of the Institute, we should be ambitious in continuously seeking to improve and challenge ourselves. To understand how we as the professional body can support the industry in driving even more remarkable achievements.

We know that the operational context is changing with the regulatory changes driven by the new Environment Act and the development of the agenda around Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). Across the industry, there has been much discussion of the BNG and its ability to reflect our industry accurately. The current round of consultation ends at the beginning of this month, and we will update members with the outcomes as it becomes clear.

It is also timely for the Institute as we relocate to the National Stone Centre at Wirksworth, which is six former quarries, and surrounded by restoration projects from the industry demonstrating what can be done in delivering high-quality biodiverse landscapes.

With these sites and their resources now available to us, the Institute is actively developing new training for members and the broader industry around the restoration agenda. We play our part in supporting the drive to a more sustainable future.

Looking across social media and from previous experience, I know many feel privileged to work in such beautiful parts of the country. We share that sense of stewardship from the sites we are responsible for.

As professionals and members of the Institute, let's keep striving to protect and manage our sites, delivering the vital products the country and the economy needs whilst preserving and enhancing the landscapes we operate in and the communities we serve.

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Working for a sustainable future

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 1, 2021 9:00:00 AM / by Martin Riley, IQ President posted in Industry, Environment

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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.

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Engaging communities for future skills

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 2, 2021 8:00:00 AM / by Martin Riley, IQ President posted in Environment, Engagement Influence and Impact

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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.

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Industry innovation for a sustainable future

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 2, 2021 12:14:57 PM / by Martin Riley, IQ President posted in Environment

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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.

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New product innovation to deliver a better future

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 1, 2021 10:00:00 AM / by Martin Riley, IQ President posted in Industry, Environment, Knowledge and Innovation

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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.

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Managing risk today for future growth

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 1, 2021 8:00:00 AM / by Martin Riley, IQ President posted in Environment, Health and Safety

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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.

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Building a sustainable future

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 1, 2020 12:30:00 PM / by Phil Redmond, IQ President posted in Industry, Environment, Knowledge and Innovation

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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.

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Making waves in recycling and sustainability

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 1, 2019 3:45:00 PM / by Phil Redmond, IQ President posted in Environment, Knowledge and Innovation

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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.

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Responsibility + Transparency = Accountability

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 1, 2017 2:56:00 PM / by Dr Miles Watkins, IQ President posted in Environment, Engagement Influence and Impact

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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.

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Embracing our environmental responsibilities

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 1, 2017 2:52:00 PM / by Dr Miles Watkins, IQ President posted in Industry, Environment

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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. 

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