Mining with nature: The Swedish mining and minerals industry’s road map for biodiversity net gain


The year 2020 was planned to be the “super year” for biodiversity. Then came the Corona-pandemic and changed the global framework. However, biodiversity is no less important, and the work continues. The European Commission has presented its Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the review of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is ongoing, even if delayed. At the national level, the Swedish government is preparing actions based on the governmental inquiry into ecological compensation.

Where will we get the raw materials that will be needed for the transition of our energy system and to succeed in meeting the climate challenge are questions that are raised in the public debate. How can we source raw materials that are sustainably produced, taking responsibility for people and the environment? The EU is developing criteria for sustainable finance and another EU initiative is aiming at principles for sustainable extraction of raw materials. One important aspect of these initiatives is biodiversity. These are important initiatives with active participation from the Swedish mining sector.

Development of mining requires land. We cannot choose the location of mines. Mining can only exist where there is an ore in the ground. That is one reason why the sector has been actively engaged in work related to nature protection and site rehabilitation. While early actions were focusing on replanting of trees and greening of industrial areas and landfills, current activities are increasingly focusing on compensation of lost natural values and on creating net positive ecological values. Several of our member companies are front runners in this development.

Now is the time to join forces in our ambition to preserve and develop the biological diversity in areas where mining is taking place. Based on positive experiences from the development of our road map for a fossil free mining sector, we have chosen to work with a road map again. In this project, we have developed common goals and together we have identified actions that will have to be taken by us and others to reach those goals.

This road map is unique, and our ambition is that it will serve as inspiration also for the international mining community and for other industrial sectors.

The Swedish mining and minerals industry wants to and can contribute to sustainable development. Several of Svemin’s member companies are already working for their operations to not lead to a net loss of biodiversity. We want to become stronger nationally and internationally and show leadership by becoming the first branch of industry to produce a road map for biodiversity with an ambitious target that exceeds the draft version of CBD’s targets for 2030. This roadmap is supported by the Swedish mining and minerals industry, working together through the industry organisation Svemin.

A road map links our current understanding or experience with what we can envisage about the future. A road map supports planning that is carried out in other contexts. It is therefore not a plan that can be directly transferred to something each member company can undertake. The road map is a plan with targets and milestones for businesses to navigate towards in their specific operations.

While the focus of this report is on biodiversity, it covers some social matters including cooperation with stakeholders, meeting the demands from owners and clients in addition to stakeholder expectations.

SveMin. (2020). Mining with nature: The Swedish mining and minerals industry’s road map for biodiversity net gain. Retrieved from

Mining with nature: The Swedish mining and minerals industry’s road map for biodiversity net gain