As more and more countries declare a climate crisis and commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, how can we help ensure that our economy and society grow in a way which is sustainable and safeguards the environment?
At a global level, the UN has set 17 Sustainable Development goals ranging from ‘Affordable & Clean Energy’ to ‘Decent Work & Economic Growth’ and ‘Responsible Production & Consumption’.
Closer to home the Northern Ireland Executive has launched its own ‘Green Growth’ strategy which aims to “create jobs, reduce carbon, enhance profitability, lower waste, increase efficiency and protect our environment and climate for future generations”.
For its part Dalradian has already achieved carbon neutral status and has introduced measures to reduce our existing carbon emissions. Our plans for an underground gold-copper-silver mine are also designed to deliver an environmentally responsible project that aligns with the principles of sustainable development and green growth.
We know that our long-term success rests on providing economic and social benefits that must be widespread within our community (including new well-paid jobs close to home and new salaries to be spent in local shops). Supported by a £15m training programme, we anticipate that around 90% of our 350 employees will be locally based; we also expect that 75% of all our operational expenditure will be within Northern Ireland.
A healthy environment is also critical, which is why our underground mine has been designed to the highest environmental standards and is committed to becoming Europe’s first carbon neutral mine.
We’re all in this together
It’s been said that “If it’s not been grown, then it has to be mined”.
If we want to create a sustainable economy built upon low carbon technologies, where will the resources come from to make that a reality? Where will the metals come from to help us make the switch from petrol / diesel cars to electric vehicles?
We can’t grow solar panels and wind turbines, but society can use the skills of the global mining sector to provide the gold, silver, copper and other metals which are needed for these technologies and other electronic innovations.
We can also, as individuals and businesses, choose to make more sustainable choices. Together we can make a difference.