Finland is one of the leading mining countries in Europe. Now, Finland wants to move a step further and become the leading sustainable mining country in the world. “Action Plan for Development of Sustainable Extractive Industries” was published on April 29th 2013.
Finnish companies have made great progress in mining technology. On the other hand, we have seen that mining can cause environmental and social impacts. Few but significant environmental failures have overshadowed the success. Of all the nations, we should know that systematic work is needed to achieve mining industry that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
The fresh out of the press Action Plan suggests 35 actions that will make Finland a leader in sustainable mining. The actions are addressed both to industry and government and include actions for e.g. better environment management and more effective mining administration.
“This Action Plan could become one of the key assets of Finland in its road to successful mining country. There are no shortcuts to sustainable mining – it is a long journey from awareness to actions and impacts.” says Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia.
Finland could export not only high-quality mining and metal products and clean technology, but also its know-how on sustainable mining. There is strong evidence that safer and environmentally prudent mining companies are more profitable.
“Sustainability is profitability”, continues Rinne.
Public and political stance on mining is that only sustainable (economically, socially and environmentally) mining is welcome to Finland. The Finnish government takes both local and international demands seriously and goes forward – step-by-step – towards sustainable mining.
Rinne is optimistic about the diplomacy between mining corporations and locals: “Corporations are committed to gaining a ‘social license to mine’”.
Gaia facilitated the process that led to the Action Plan. It was worked out in cooperation with industry, academia, R&D organisations, public sector and GMOs. The Action Plan is a part of the Strategic Programme for the Cleantech Business by The Ministry of Employment and The Economy.