A Good Built Environment
A Good Built Environment is one of the 16 environmental quality objectives established by the Swedish Parliament. The National Swedish Housing Board is the responsible authority with respect to this environmental objective. SGU is responsible for interim target 4, Gravel extraction.
"Cities, urban areas and other built-up areas must represent a good, healthy living environment and contribute to a good regional and global environment. Natural and cultural heritage values must be preserved and developed. Buildings must be located and designed in an environmentally appropriate fashion and in such a way as to promote the sustainable management of land, water and other resources."
The outcome within a generation for this environmental quality objective should include the following:
- Natural gravel may be used only if a substitute material is not feasible, given the area of application in question.
- Deposits of gravel that are valuable for the drinking water supply and the natural and cultural landscape are preserved.
To achieve the Good Built Environment environmental quality objective, the Swedish government and the Parliament have established interim targets that must be achieved during the course of this effort. SGU is responsible for one of them, Gravel extraction.
Interim target 4: Gravel extraction
By 2010 the extraction of gravel in the country will not exceed 12 million tonnes per year and the proportion of reused materials will represent at least 15% of the ballast used.
The two parts of the interim target can be reached independently, since the amount of sand and gravel extracted does not depend on the proportion of materials reused. Different players and incentives are involved in the two components of the target, and they are regulated separately in the legislation.
Efforts to achieve the interim target for gravel extraction
SGU has been assigned the task to reach voluntary agreements with other stakeholders and the sectoral authorities, thereby reducing the use of gravel and increasing the proportion of reused materials. The results of these efforts will be evaluated and form the starting-point for further measures. The commission includes the task of developing requirement specifications and methods of deciding which resource efficiency and environmental aspects should be applied to the use of gravel and alternative materials.