Imerys, Transform to perform

Restoration & Biodiversity


Sustainable development

Restoration & Biodiversity

The locations of our mining operations are determined by geology. On those sites, we strive to protect biodiversity as we carry out our activities. Our mining sites and quarries are restored as operations progress, often contributing to the conservation of fauna and flora species.

Our mining and processing operations use land and natural resources. This can affect biodiversity and ecosystems throughout the lifecycle of our quarries. We ensure our mining activities are compatible with biodiversity conservation through relevant planning and restoration.

Our “Post-Mining Rehabilitation” protocol requires operations to prepare their quarries’ future and describes the restoration methods that will be applied during the site’s operating life and when it closes.

Our strategy consists of building our knowledge and understanding of the environment and, in sensitive zones, encouraging the development of biodiversity management plans. Approximately 15% of the Group’s operations are located on or near zones recognized for their interest in terms of biodiversity. In 2012, with the aim of preparing a guidance document for biodiversity management plans, in-depth analyses were conducted on five pilot sites, i.e. 10% of Imerys’ biodiversity-sensitive operations. The sites were selected for the quality of their approach, and this enabled the Group to identify best practices and key stages in an effective biodiversity management plan. Work will continue in 2013, and the approach will be extended to 12% of Imerys’ sensitive operations.

Additional work in 2012 focused on the definition of two new indicators for land use, with the aim of quantifying the surfaces disturbed by the Group’s mining activities, as well as restored surfaces. These indicators were set up on a pilot activity in France (clay roof tile production) representing 24 quarries in France. As of December 31, 2012, 216 hectares were disturbed by the division’s mining activities. Restored surfaces covered 95 hectares. These new indicators will be gradually extended across the Group and will enable Imerys to report on its efforts to minimize environmental impact of its activities.

2012 Objectives 2012 Performances
  • Define a biodiversity action plan for 10% of sites located in sensitive zones in terms of biodiversity.
  • Achieved
2013 Objectives
  • Biodiversity action plan set up at 12% of sites located in area of high biodiversity value.

We monitor the rollout of our three-year plan for Sustainable Development through performance indicators defined by internal experts.

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Consumption & Discharges

Manage properly water usage and limit waste production are part of our Sustainable Development goals.

Energy & emissions

For several years, we have implemented action programs to improve the energy efficiency of its industrial activities and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.


Constantly improving the environmental impact of our products and processes is a priority for our R&D programs.