Meeting optimally the environmental challenge : a methodology for the lead industry
Does the lead industry have a future, in the face of the developing environmental challenge? This thesis addresses this question and concludes, it should have for the foreseeable future, providing it adopts the changes detailed. These changes are posited within a framework, which consists of a strategy, approaches and tools. The changes are both technical and philosophical. They are technical, in the sense that the tools and approaches provide practical means whereby the environmental `risks' may be identified, assessed and managed. They are philosophical, because they set out and identify the features of a new conceptual paradigm, whose basis is in the concept of the `risk society'. The paradigm is significantly more holistic, multi-dimensional, inherently flexible, and is intended to be reflexive. Adoption of the elements of the framework, will facilitate a more effective establishment, and management of environmental `risk' credentials, which will help encourage better environmental decision making. Hence, it will facilitate, the balancing of resource consumption and environmental impact costs, versus social and economic benefits, in an improved manner. The modelling approaches, and selected inventory and environmental impact assessment tools, enclosed within this thesis, have been designed to facilitate the development of, and to function within, the new paradigm. These have been developed for BRM and MIM case studies, and function at the site-specific and the cradle-to-gate scales. The former consider the company site of Britannia Refined Metals (BRM) Ltd., where refining to produce primary and secondary refined lead products takes place, whilst the latter consider the life-cycle of the refined primary lead products of MIM Ltd. The modelling approaches have also been designed so, that they may be re-aggregated into models able to operate at many different scales, as required. The framework, and its elements, are applicable for all industries facing similar challenges.