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Sustainable Management in the Extractive Industry

Explore the importance of sustainability in the extractive industry and what the solutions along 5 key action areas are

790 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade


Design, with other stakeholders, new sustainable management practices.

On this six-week course, you’ll discover the most pressing issues and practical challenges faced by decision makers within the extractive industry.

You’ll critically reflect on sustainability, discover best practice strategies, and learn how to respond to sustainability challenges faced by the mineral resource extraction sector.

Explain the environmental and societal impact of mineral extraction

With scientific materials and cutting-edge insights curated by renowned experts, you’ll investigate innovative approaches and solutions to the most pressing sustainability issues in the extractive sector.

Using the SUMEX framework, you’ll focus on five key action areas: permitting and licensing, health and safety, land use planning, environmental and socio-economic impact assessment, and reporting.

With this overview, you’ll be able to contextualise your knowledge within the areas of policy, business, and civil society, helping you analyse and discuss stakeholder needs.

Analyse environmental impact using tools such as the three pillars of sustainability

You’ll investigate sustainable extractive management processes through various conceptual lenses and methodological approaches such as the three pillars of sustainability, leverage points, and the Institutional Resource Regime.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to apply and adapt sustainability frameworks to reflect different organisational needs.

Discover sustainable management best practice in policy and industry

Framing discussions within the European extractive sector, you’ll share best practice with fellow learners from around the world.

Combining shared experiences and expert insights, you’ll be able to identify successful approaches to sustainability and embed them in your own management practices.

What topics will you cover?

  • The societal relevance of mineral extraction for the transition towards a greener economy.
  • Sustainability approaches and key-challenges in the extractive industry, especially in the European context, and how to address them from a public policy and industry perspective.
  • Potential solutions based on practical examples, which can be applied across Europe.
  • The application of state of the art sustainability concepts at the operational level.
  • Methodological approaches to analyse and understand systemic change towards sustainability (Leverage Points & Institutional Resource Regime).

Example syllabus of week 3 - Land use planning

Introduction to Land use planning

  • Learn what to expect from this week and how to understand the main questions we are asking.

Expert insights

  • Listen to Sybil Berne and Thomas Hartmann talk about the importance of land policy to balance costs and benefits of extractive projects and participate in the Q&A session.

Highlighting real life practices

  • Learn about the real-life application of the Institutional Resource Regime approach on the example of metal mining and reindeer herding in Sweden.


  • Check your knowledge on the topics that were covered during this week by taking this week’s Quiz.

Outlook and recap

  • Remind yourself of the topics that were covered during this week.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Reflect on the importance of a coherent approach to sustainability framework in the extractive sector 
  • Explain the societal relevance of raw material extraction 
  • Investigate the main pillars of sustainable extractive management 
  • Apply sustainability frameworks for mineral extraction to different institutional and local contexts
  • Identify and evaluate good practices in the extractive industry in a critical manner
  • Discuss with experts and peers the current state and related challenges of the European extractive sector
  • Explore the SUMEX and other important tools about good practice learning 

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for leaders, managers and stakeholders in the mineral extractive industry who want to learn about the challenges, solutions and new developments in sustainability.

It will be especially useful for public administrators and industry practitioners wishing to understand and implement sustainability management at any stage of the mining life cycle from exploration to post-closure. This course may also benefit those interested in the importance of raw materials for a sustainable future and the challenges connected to them.

Who will you learn with?

Pamela Lesser has been researching responsible mining for 10 years, and environmental and social impact assessment globally for over 25 years.

I am a professional for sustainability in the extractives sector. Over the last 15 years I have been working with European policymakers on improving public policy and sustainability.

Anders Forsgren is working at the sustainability department at Boliden mines, focusing on social sustainability and community engagement.

Michael Tost has extensive work experience as a Health & Safety expert. He is now Professor for Sustainable Mining Technology at Montanuniversität Leoben and coordinator of the SUMEX project.

André Martinuzzi is Head of the Institute for Managing Sustainability at WU Vienna. He has over 20 years of experience in coordinating and leading EU-wide research projects.

Katharina Gugerell is a senior scientist working on sustainable land use, land-use governance and sustainability transformations.

Besmira Dyca is a researcher at Wageningen University and has a special interest in land use planning policy and distributive justice.

Mariana is part of the team of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is a researcher with background in supply chain management and corporate responsibility.

Who developed the course?

EIT RawMaterials

Initiated and funded by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), a body of the European Union, EIT RawMaterials is the largest European raw materials partnership.

What's included?

EIT RawMaterials are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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