Sustainable development is a concept the foundation of which is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015 by all 193 UN member countries. It covers 5 areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. Enterprises – within their strategies – also take into consideration the need for sustainable development. One of such entities is Nordkalk, a mining company, owner of 2 mines and four limestone processing plants in Poland.
Climate change, limited natural resources, biodiversity loss, health and safety at work, equality and economic well-being are the main challenges for sustainable development. The example of Nordkalk demonstrates that a limestone mine can and ought to encompass sustainable development in its strategy. It is a modern and responsible way of conducting business activities, which takes into account the interests of all parties. As part of a series of three articles, we will take a closer look at how Nordkalk implements the idea of sustainable development in its largest plant – Miedzianka.
Highest quality product
Nordkalk is a supplier of high-quality stone, which is of strategic significance for the Polish economy, applied in many industries – from construction and infrastructure, through heavy industry to agriculture. Most importantly, however, limestone-based products and solutions play a crucial role in the purification of drinking water and wastewater, flue gas from power plants and waste incineration plants, and prevent phosphorus leaching into rivers and lakes, thus protecting their ecosystem. Limestone has a purifying, filling and neutralizing function, and products manufactured based on it are often used to improve ecological parameters. Both at the production level (operational activities involving the extraction and processing of limestone) and in terms of the properties of the product (stone), Nordkalk’s strategy considers the demands of sustainable development, predominantly paying attention to environmental protection.
As a result of the implementation of the sustainable development strategy, Nordkalk has carried out a number of projects in Miedzianka to protect species, decrease the nuisance associated with running a business, improve material efficiency and reduce waste, as well as to care for the natural environment. In 2015, at the largest Nordkalk plant in Poland, the construction of soundproof screens was completed. The 700-metre barrier effectively suppresses noise, which is vital, primarily for farms located in the vicinity of the plant. In addition, a new gate was built of soundproofing materials, and special octagonal noise reducers were installed. The executed investments enabled to reduce the noise emission generated by vehicles moving on the plant’s roads and yards.
Owing to the investment, Miedzianka plant managed to increase material performance to 98 percent. This translates into less waste and maximum use of the raw material. By 2035, the target at all Nordkalk plants is 100% material efficiency, which means that the company will be using all the stone extracted from the deposits. Moreover, Miedzianka plant implemented a process optimization program, the main objective of which is to improve energy efficiency, reduce the demand for energy from fossil fuels, and reduce CO2 emissions.
Water and the environment
Nordkalk provides its infrastructure to supply drinking water to some of the inhabitants of Piekoszów and Chęciny, and is considering further investments in this area. In 2019, bearing in mind the preservation of biodiversity, the company organized the transfer of the protected common frog from the area of the Ołowianka deposit in order to keep its breeding sites in the Świętokrzyskie province.
Nordkalk Sp. z o.o.