Sustainable development

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Materials stewardship

Bird life at our coal operation in ColombiaBird life at our coal operation in Colombia

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) defines materials stewardship as ‘the responsible provision of materials and supervision of material flows towards the creation of maximum societal value and minimum impact on man and the environment’.

We have a materials stewardship working group in place, which is developing a framework and strategy. To do so, the group is pulling together expertise from across the Group, including the environmental department, occupational and community health, safety, environmental geochemistry, marketing, procurement and supply chain managers, as well as external life cycle analysis expertise.

The environmental geochemistry team contributes to materials stewardship through its work on exploration and mine environment geochemical surveys, geochemistry best practice and through research projects in conjunction with a number of academic partners. This has enhanced our understanding of the human health and environmental risks that can arise from our operations.


The European Union’s (EU) Chemicals Directive is now fully in force and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has been established to implement the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) coming into the EU.

Anglo American has established a REACH Group office in London to support business units supplying substances into the EU. This office ensures that all substances that are imported into the EU meet the EU’s regulatory requirements. Anglo American Group companies are making steady progress towards the successful registration of their EU-bound products with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by December 2010. In addition, there is ongoing work in collaboration with the metals consortia, to classify our ores and concentrates according to the EU’s Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulation by December 2010.