Raw Materials Week 2017

There’s never been a time where raw materials are as important as they are now. We have been looking at this area of industry policy for quite a while and I think the challenge we have today is to explain to us how that fits into the big industrial picture that we have in Europe right now and how we need to possibly adjust our strategy going forward. The EU industry, including raw materials, needs to embrace digitalisation, big data, internet of the things, robotics, automation. Data knowledge are an important part of EU raw materials policies and they are fundamental for sound decision-making and they have the potential to support activities of non-energy raw material sector. Within industry, developments are more and more linked. We’re now, when we are designing products, we need to think about how they will be recycled so we need to think about what materials to put in and where to source them from. We live in a complex world where value chains are existing, so it’s not only looking at the final product and what needs to be done to make this final product, you extract the raw materials, you transform the raw materials, you make them functional and then it goes into goods. The whole value chain, that we are looking at, is a global value chain: We’re sourcing materials from all over, so if we do not think of this in a global perspective, then we are again, we are missing the opportunity to get this to attract to the world. Boost the access to raw materials and minerals, to keep a thriving industry but also the conservation of our natural heritage, biodiversity, are quite two fundamental goals for sustainability. By best management practices, you are able to develop and you are able to reconcile industry as well as as a nature protection as well as other activities in the query. We notice a lot of common features on the problems of securing the raw materials supply Every sector has its own critical raw materials but the problem is how to obtain them how to keep them who are the end-users, who are the suppliers. All of this is repeatedly mentioned in the presentations. Waste legislation is not harmonised in Europe. So, use the standards and make it mandatory across, say, in Europe in order to get also reliable data and reliable statistics, which is good for policymaking. You need raw materials for this green transition that we’d like to see. When you talk about low-carbon technologies, if you talk about improving battery life in your computer or putting a battery into your car so it can drive on electricity, then we’re talking about using raw materials and so I think that’s a very important message that people need to understand that to achieve the things we would like to for a greener, better society, we need raw materials, but it’s also really important to create awareness that will last for decades, but this is not going to change. We needed raw materials since the Stone Age. The types of raw materials that we need are changing all the time with the technologies and our needs, but we need to have that understanding of what the society needs and the raw materials as a critical part of it, and we need to care about that point.

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