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 and we will not know the impact on performance until 2021 when data is available. BLA Members continued operations during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, as lime is an essential product for the provision of safe drinking water and treatment of wastewater and for several important manufacturing industries, including steel and plastics that are 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 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 is making by supporting the construction industry and wider society during this pandemic – including the lime industry.
The UK lime sector maintained its sales performance during 2019 – around 1.2 million tonnes. Export performance was maintained at around 15% of sales, with an estimated value of £3 million. However, we can reasonably 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 taken 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.
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-organised charitable activities. BLA Members have appreciated the recognition and support from their local communities during the COVID-19 outbreak, which has helped them to continue delivering this essential and versatile material.
The report also highlights that:
66 kg/t lower CO2- Decarbonisation from dolime combustion since 2011.
Waste to landfill - 36% lower than 2011.
34% fossil fuel replaced with alternative fuels in dolime manufacture.
Export sales - 12% increase since 2011 and 35% since 2006.
Particulate, NOx and SO2 emissions - 4,310 tonnes fewer than 2011.
Environmental incident free - No Category 1 or 2 incidents.
Commenting on the sector performance, Dr Rebecca Hooper, Director of the BLA said: “2019 showed ongoing, solid performance by the 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 European Union, and make progress towards net zero carbon emissions.”
Note to Editors:
Read the BLA Sustainable Development Report.