At the World Resources Forum 2017, ESM hosted in collaboration with EIT Raw Materials and the Sustainable Energy Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) a workshop on Critical Raw Materials, Resource Classification, and Sustainable Development Goals. See also the joint press statement on the Workshop.
The session took place on October 24 and covered crucial aspects of Strategic Raw Materials management, their integration into classification frameworks, their potential for a circular economy, and their role in Sustainable Development. Speakers included experts in criticality assessment, resource classification, resource recovery, and sustainable management of Strategic Raw Materials.
Key messages of the workshop:
- Sustainable development is fundamentally linked to the access to critical raw materials. Potential bottlenecks must be considered along the entire supply chain, addressing raw materials, semi-finished as well as finished products. Mitigation measures to ensure sustainable future supply have to be taken today.
- It is crucial to define objectives on how to competently and responsibly manage raw materials along the whole value chain. Secondary raw materials sourcing will become increasingly important, but mining will still be needed, requiring innovative approaches to tackle aspects of social responsibility and ecological impact. Innovations in mining might also make more raw materials accessible.
- Reliable data and effective policy interventions can only be developed in a defined framework and require improved collaboration of all involved actors in a more transparent system approach.
There is interest to further develop the interlinked topic on SDGs, critical raw materials and classification. If you want to join this dialogue, please contact us.
The presentations of the workshop are available for download here.