Preservation of the environment is a major focus in the operation of Lundhs quarries. This is maintained by efficient and responsible use of available natural resources.
Sustainable development can be defined as:
A development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
It is possible to debate the sustainability of the natural stone industry, when the focus is to excavate non-renewable resources. Sustainable development in Lundhs focus on how Lundhs can contribute to a sustainable community by a sustainable operation of the company`s quarries.
Regulations and life-cycle of quarries
In Norway there are strict regulations for the exploitation of natural resources. In our industry these rules are mainly managed by the environmental department in each county and the Norwegian Directorate for Mineral Resources. Our quarries are established in accordance with approved regulations and detailed operational plans. In close cooperation with public authorities, the quarries are developed in an optimal way to reduce visibility from the surrounding countryside and to look as natural as possible in the surrounding landscape.
When Lundhs plan new quarries, a central part is restoration and re-use of the quarry with time. Due to the long operation-time for the quarries, the planning for this is an on-going process, in cooperation with local authorities and land owners. Lundhs basic principles for the planning process are illustrated below, and are adapted to local landscape conditions.
Dust, noise and water pollution
A central part of the environmental regulations are related to emissions of dust, noise and water pollution. Emission of noise and dust has been greatly reduced through the upgrade to more modern machinery. A changeover from a production method based mainly on drilling and blasting to mainly wire-sawing, has considerably reduced the noise level from the production.
A side-effect of enhanced use of wire-sawing, is higher levels of particles (dust from wire-sawing) in water that the drains from the quarries. A few streams and rivers are affected by this, and the phenomena can be measured as higher turbidity in the water. This challenge is today on of Lunds major focus areas regarding the environment. In some quarries an effective way of dealing with this challenge, has proven to be the use of old quarry-areas as sedimentary basins for the fine particles to settle and infiltration of turbid water in nearby marsh-areas.
During a comprehensive project in 2006-2009, where Norway’s leading experts where engaged, Lundhs documented facts concerning rock-dust in the water. The project is followed up in 2012 with a second part, which describes an action-plan for this kind of challenges in each quarry. It has been confirmed that rock-dust has no biological side effect, since animal life, with a few exceptions, has remained unchanged. Water with rock-dust is mainly an aesthetic challenge and it is well documented that there is no harmful substances in the rock-dust.
Waste rock material
From production of natural stone, huge amounts of waste rock is formed. Historically the waste rock has been piled up in big deposits in the landscape. During the last decade, the strategy has changed to a situation where Lundhs look at waste rock as a resource.
Lundhs work continuously on ways to use the waste rock as a resource. The focus areas are further processing of the material to blocks for stone walls, coastal erosion protection and building-aggregates. In this respect the activity takes the pressure off intervention in nature in other areas.
The use of waste rock as material for blocks in tunnel-portals at the new E-18 road passing Larvik
In some quarries it is not possible to make use of the waste rock, and it is necessary to deposit the waste rock in the landscape. It is then important to develop the deposit in such a way that they resemble the surrounding countryside as closely as possible. The deposits are covered by soil, and after a few years re-vegetated with similar vegetation as the surroundings. With time, these deposits will not be distinguishable from the surrounding countryside.