General information MEP Pavel Poc, Chair of the Intergroup EP Intergroup CCBSD Newsletter


Tue., 07th of Apr. 2015

BEYOND ENFORCEMENT: Communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating wildlife crime
Mon., 30th of Mar. 2015

EP Intergroup Newsletter January 2015: Editorial
Wed., 21th of Jan. 2015

Looking for an experience in EU Affairs? Apply now!
Fri., 19th of Dec. 2014

European Parliament Intergroups 2014-2019
Fri., 12th of Dec. 2014

Intergroup's Launch Cocktail Reception - Report
Tue., 18th of Nov. 2014

EP Intergroup Newsletter November 2014: Editorial
Tue., 18th of Nov. 2014

Wed., 15th of Oct. 2014

INTERVIEW: Young entrepreneurs need to know about research funding – Pierre-Yves Cousteau
Mon., 13th of Oct. 2014

EP Intergroup Newsletter October 2014: Editorial
Tue., 07th of Oct. 2014

The New Climate Economy Report
Tue., 16th of Sep. 2014

La lutte contre le réchauffement n'est pas l'ennemie de la croissance
Tue., 16th of Sep. 2014

The next European Commissioners and their posts
Wed., 10th of Sep. 2014

EP Intergroup Newsletter September 2014: Editorial
Wed., 03th of Sep. 2014

Become Member of the EP Intergroup on "Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development"
Tue., 26th of Aug. 2014

EP Intergroup Newsletter July 2014: Editorial
Thu., 26th of Jun. 2014

Tue., 24th of Jun. 2014

2014 European Elections
Tue., 17th of Jun. 2014

Mon., 28th of Apr. 2014

Intergroup CCBSD Main achievements 2009-2014
Thu., 24th of Apr. 2014

Invasions in Europe
Thu., 24th of Apr. 2014

EP Intergroup Newsletter September 2013: Editorial
Tue., 10th of Sep. 2013

Bee decline/neonicotinoid ban Key decision for bees as European Commission pushes for proposed neonicotinoid suspension
Mon., 29th of Apr. 2013

EU General Court Rules against Sustainable Use of Seals
Fri., 26th of Apr. 2013

First Global Plan of Action for Forest Genetic Resources adopted by FAO members
Tue., 23th of Apr. 2013

CITES COP16 - Vote on US proposal to up list Polar Bear and ban international trade in the species
Thu., 18th of Apr. 2013

New Director at IUCN Brussels Office
Mon., 08th of Apr. 2013

FAO forestry chief to lead UN-wide preps for Expo 2015
Mon., 25th of Mar. 2013

The Inuit take on the world’s greens and animal rightists
Fri., 22th of Feb. 2013

URBES for cities and biodiversity
Fri., 08th of Feb. 2013

A European strategy to tackle the great challenges of agriculture and food security under climate change
Wed., 05th of Dec. 2012

EU parliament urged to reject calls to designate polar bears an endangered species
Wed., 21th of Nov. 2012

Council agreement on revision of accounting directives
Sun., 06th of May. 2012


EP Intergroup CCBSD


Wednesday, 23th of January 2013, 12:30
Room A7F387, European Parliament, Brussels

Summary report

Horizon of certainty: industry calls for long-term policy to drive innovation in managing natural resources 

On Wednesday 23 January 2013 a group including European policy-makers, environmental experts and industry members were invited to reflect on the question Is there a role for Innovation in the sustainable management of Raw Materials?The event is the first on this topic since the launch of the new Working Group on “Business and Raw Materials” under the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development.

This event took place at the same time as the first Sherpa Group meeting of the ‘European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials,’[1] in view of preparing the high-level meeting of 12 February 2013, with Member States representatives, industry, research centres, NGOs, and all other stakeholders. Gwenole Cozigou, Director for Resources Based, Manufacturing and Consumer Goods Industries in DG Enterprise informed the audience that a Strategic Implementation Plan setting out the priorities of the partnership will be adopted by the High-Level Steering Group in June/July 2013. “The Commission is opened to listening to practical solutions if they are applicable and acceptable to all constituencies,” he said.

The EU is the largest importer of commodities in the world and is also a big exporter of waste materials that are believed to be invaluable. MEP Judith Merkies called for an innovative business model: the ‘leasing society’, a society which would respect resources and reduce import dependency in order to close the loop within Europe. There is a huge untapped potential for recycling in the EU, said Soledad Blanco, Director for Sustainable Resources Management, Industry & Air in DG Environment: only 40% of waste is recycled. More recycling would open new markets, create jobs, and generate extra turnover of several billion Euros. “Regulation provides the private sector with the necessary certainty to invest in innovation,” she said.

Indeed, Europe is facing a financial crisis as well as a sustainability crisis, argued MEP Paul Rübig: “We should start thinking of ensuring supplies from within the EU and facilitate their exploration. Preservation of biodiversity and expansion of domestic supplies are in fact not contradictory. Since in the EU we have by far the highest environmental standards for raw material extraction in the world, the environment, the job market and the economy will benefit if we manage to keep and expand production in Europe."

Gerard Bos, Head of Global Business and Biodiversity Programme at IUCN and moderator of the panel held that true and sustainable resource management starts when different businesses jointly look at solutions to optimise their flows of goods and services: “We need to work on value-chain projects as innovation comes under the form of a true value-chain partnership. The only long-term sustainable solution is to work together towards a common vision.” He added: “Nature is at the centre of innovation. Its potential in providing innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions is yet to be fully exploited.”

The panellists agreed that raw materials are necessary to move towards a more resource-efficient and low-carbon society, while competitiveness and cost efficiency should be also among the top priorities. New business models are needed, but equally important is that a stable environment for these changes to happen is provided by policy. “The regulatory environment must offer long-term certainty to enable investment,” said Martin Casey, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at CEMEX.

Daniel Reuss, President of the European Industrial Minerals Association (IMA-Europe) proposed looking at innovation in terms of what minerals can do to help reduce the environmental footprint of processes and products throughout the whole value chain, in addition to optimizing the resource efficiency of raw materials extraction and processing.

Furthermore, it was also emphasized by Sean O’Sullivan, Government Relations Officer at Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) that it is important to avoid concentrating all the available financing into technological innovation as what matters in the end is to develop innovation that can be applied in Europe.

Other panellists included Corina Hebestreit, Managing Director at Euromines and Annick Carpentier, Sustainability Director at Eurometaux.

MEP Judith Merkies concluded that the industry needs a horizon of certainty – a green horizon, shaped by a solid policy framework to spur innovation in natural resources management. “Politicians and the industry need to step up their ambitions and find new and better ways to solve environmental and economic challenges.”

The meeting was co-chaired by MEP Judith Merkies and MEP Paul Rübig, chairs of new Working Group and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. The audience included Members of the European Parliament, EU Permanent Representations, Embassies, NGO representatives, and the private sector.

This conference was organised by the Secretariat of the European Parliament Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” run jointly by the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Documents of the meeting
List of participants
Practical information


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