Sustainable development policy frameworks in the EU and other jurisdictions recognize this need and there are a number of initiatives underway that focus not only on the sustainability of the upstream natural resource base but also on the life cycle of the materials and products created from these resources.
Eco-efficiency in the minerals and metals industry
This paper explores the relationships between materials stewardship, eco-efficiency, and the product policies of governments. In doing so, a focus is maintained on the relevance of these industrial strategies and policies to the minerals and metals industry. Progress toward sustainable development requires a strong focus on accessing and harvesting natural resources with minimal social and environmental impacts and positive economic benefit to society. Once those resources are in use in the economy, maximizing their contribution to sustainable development requires concentrating on the appropriate application of the materials and coordinated stewardship activities (to ensure wise use and recovery where appropriate).