The raw material industry – the “dirtiest industry in the world?”
The dirtiest industry in the world must become cleaner!
Yes, there are a lot of problems caused by the raw materials industry. Extractive industries have far-reaching social and environmental impacts that threaten the Earth’s ecosystem. The mining of fossil fuels, metals and metal ores is always an intrusion on nature. And the processing of a raw material, which in many cases is very costly, also has an impact on the environment. Soil degradation, water scarcity, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, impairment of ecosystems and intensification of climate change are the consequences.
Let’s take the so-called rare earths such as cerium, yttrium, europium, lanthanum or neodymium as an example. They are in great demand in industry because they are indispensable for many high-tech products. They are found in wind turbines, monitors, energy-saving lamps, abrasion-resistant car tires, powerful electric motors, smartphones, notebooks, solar panels … in fact, almost everywhere. In nature, however, rare earths never occur in pure form, but only in combination with other substances. They are therefore referred to as ores. Chemical processes are used to separate them, and their waste materials are often very toxic.
New ideas and solutions for change
At the same time, corruption, child labor, exploitation, human rights violations, lack of occupational health and safety in often illegal mines are among the social consequences of certain sectors of the raw materials industry. These abuses ensure that the industry is referred to “as the dirtiest” in the world. The good news is, there are answers, ideas and solutions. But not enough yet, and not yet implemented globally. There must be new ways and new networking among them. So that the best solutions and ideas can connect with each other and make great things happen. The raw materials industry needs to act collectively, take social responsibility and transform sustainably.
At pektogram, we want to support companies in this transformation and change the mindset of the old economy. Because we believe that you can only improve the world if the traditional industries also (want to) really act differently. The focus of our work is on the areas of ecology and economy. Here, even the smallest changes can have a big impact for our planet – and thus for all of us. Together with the industry, we look for the most effective measures for a more conscious use of the earth and its natural resources. This is how we can succeed in delivering a huge impact in the “dirtiest industry in the world.”