Environmental risks and challenges of anthropogenic metals flows and cycles

United Nations Environment Programme (2013)

This report focuses on the impact of metals on the environment as well as on their life cycle energy use. Currently primary metals production is responsible for 7 8 % of the total global energy use as well as for severe local environmental impacts. The report suggests to apply best available technologies and to increase recycling of metals, which not only requires significantly less energy per kg metal produced than primary production but also helps decreasing the overall local impacts of mining.