At all stages in the production and supply chain for aggregates (extraction, processing, delivery, and point of use) there are statutory controls (laws, regulations and licence, permit or planning conditions) that must be complied with. These relate to planning control, health and safety; minimising, monitoring and managing environmental effects; reduction of CO2; adapting to climate change and various other matters. In addition to complying with regulatory requirements, the aggregate industry also engages in voluntary and industry led schemes and initiatives, directed at improving efficiency and safety, reducing the environmental footprint of aggregates production; and providing accessible information about the industry to the public.
There are industry led and voluntary schemes and initiatives focusing on some or all of the following issues that are relevant to achieving an equitable balance between environmental, social and economic impacts of aggregate quarrying (i.e. the sustainable development factors):
- carbon emissions;
- biodiversity and geodiversity;
- cultural heritage;
- stakeholder and community engagement;
- community welfare and amenity;
- health, safety and operational management;
- restoration and after use.
The voluntary and industry led schemes and initiatives are of three main types:
- Public information and demonstrating best practice
- Education, innovation and research
- Industry awards and competitions