" A sustainable Aggregates Industry for a sustainable Europe "

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Editorial

Today, the European Aggregates Industry coversa demand of 2.7 billion tonnes of aggregates producedevery year on 26,000 sites by 15,000 companies(mostly SMEs) employing 200,000 people acrossEurope. No other industry sector but the EuropeanAggregates Industry can proudly present these mostimpressive figures. After water and air, aggregates arethe most used materials. The question is not whetherwe need it, but how to supply aggregates in the mostsustainable way. Furthermore, the European sector isa truly local industry of global importance.

Aggregates producers are contributing to the Natura2000 network and other environmental protectedareas before, during and after extraction with projectssuch as Temporary Nature, Life in Quarries and Natureafter Minerals. The Aggregates Industry is indispensablefor the well-being of our modern society, the backboneof infrastructure, private and commercial housing;literally essential for our built environment.

The steady availability of aggregates is taken forgranted and appears only to become a political prioritywhen facing a shortage of supply. This is why UEPG andits Members decided to strengthen its efforts on publicaffairs and PR & Communication to ensure the visibilityand positive image of the European AggregatesIndustry – seen as a part of the solution of numerouschallenges. In that context, UEPG has built-up over thepast 30 years an excellent network of experts in theareas of technical, environmental, economic and health& safety matters and launched projects and intensifiedcooperation with EU Institutions, Partners, NGOs, TradeUnions and Academia to become a recognised andtrusted partner.

In 2016-2017, UEPG focused on contributing to the EURaw Materials Strategy, the Circular Economy Package,the Natura 2000 Fitness-Check and the Action Plan onbetter implementation, the compatibility of Businessand Biodiversity, Safer and Healthier Workplaces,a culture towards Zero Harm, reviewing 10 years of NEPSI Social Dialogue Agreement, calling for an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy and on officially endorsing theEU Protocol for the management of Construction andDemolition Waste.

UEPG has been insisting on the needfor better implementation and regulatory enforcementof EU legislation, rather pushing for new pieces of EU ornational legislative proposals. UEPG has implementednumerous initiatives generating value or savingsfor aggregates producers. Those achievements areoutlined in this Annual Review. In 2016, UEPG promoted good practice examples,which are going beyond what is expected and providingexamples others can follow over its SustainableDevelopment Awards Ceremony with more than 41 applicants from all over Europe.UEPG will continue implementing its commitmentsof the UEPG 2020 Vision and in representing thebest interests of our Members whilst enhancinga constructive dialogue based on trust and activecooperation with our stakeholders. You may count onmy commitment and the one of the whole UEPG stafffor delivering those goals.