• A

    Accident
    An accidental event that occurs during work and that has caused a temporary and/or permanent physical or psychological injury or the death of the worker. Accidents during travel are excluded.

    Acid rain
    Acid rain is a phenomenon whereby the acidity level of the rain increases because of some polluting gas emitted in the atmosphere. It is particularly dangerous for the ecosystem of lakes, waterways and forests and for the plants and animals.

    Alternative raw materials
    By-products or selected wastes that can be reused, instead of other raw materials, in production processes. This can be either substituting raw materials (with adequate chemistry) or fuel taking advantage of the cement process (high temperature, high retention time, absorption of ashes in cement).

  • B

    BAT - Best Available Techniques
    Best available techniques, i.e. the technical and / or organizational measures considered for industrial operations. For cement, they are defined in the BREF document prepared for the European cement sector by the IPTS Institute of Seville in March 2000 and regularly updated.

    Biodiversity
    Variety of living formulas, species, organisms in an environment, result of the evolutionary process, guarantee of stability and index of the ecological value of an environment.

    Biomass
    Non-fossil materials of biological origin - residues of agricultural and forestry origin, secondary products and waste from the agri-food industry - which can be used to produce energy and thus reduce dependence on fossil sources such as oil. Biomass is considered as neutral in CO2 emissions as the cycle time to absorb CO2 is relatively short (e.g. a tree would take a few years to absorb the amount of CO2 that it would produce once burnt).

  • C

    Calorific replacement
    The use of alternative fuels (CDR, waste oils, animal meal) substituting traditional fuels is saving energy resources from non-renewable sources.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2)
    Oxide acid (anhydride) formed by a carbon atom bound to two oxygen atoms. Colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, heavier than air, which is formed in all the processes of combustion, respiration, decomposition of organic material, due to the total oxidation of the carbon and the decarbonization of the limestone. It is an essential substance in the life processes of plants and animals, but it is also responsible for the increase in global warming. Carbon dioxide, transparent to sunlight, absorbs infrared radiation emitted by the earth's surface, causing the so-called "greenhouse effect". The cement process is emitting CO2 from two sources: from the calcination of raw materials (mainly limestone) and from the combustion of fuel.

    Carbonation
    Natural process according to which a material or a living species absorb atmospheric CO2 during the life cycle, increasing its environmental sustainability over the useful life of the product. This is also the case for concrete. From the chemical point of view, carbonation is the reaction between calcium oxide (CaO), an alkaline product of hardened concrete and CO2, which results in the formation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3): CaO + CO2 = CaCO3 (limestone).

    Cembureau
    European Cement Association based in Brussels.

    Cement
    Hydraulic binder holding together other minerals, granules and other constituent parts of the rocks. When mixed with water, it reacts giving rise to a plastic mass that gradually hardens. Different types of cement can be produced according to the desired characteristics and performance using different raw materials and fineness. Cement is the main component of concrete and is the most used building material in the world, with billions of tons sold every year. White cement of which Cementir Group is world leader, is a product with very specific characteristics including whiteness. Its production process is slightly different from gray cement as it requires a rigorous raw materials selection and some variations in the process such as a different cooling/quenching. White cement is a niche market as world production does not exceed 20Mt per annum).

    Clay
    Clastic sedimentary rock consisting predominantly of minute colloidal particles of hydrated aluminum silicates associated with very fine sandy debris. It is used in the cement process to bring some of the necessary component such as silica, alumina.

    Clinker
    Semi-finished granulated material with hydraulic behavior deriving from the cooking of calcareous marl at high temperatures or from a mixture of limestone and clay. It appears as a granulated material. It is produced in the kiln and then used as the main component in cement. with the addition of gypsum or anhydrite and other materials and subsequent grinding.

    Clinker Ratio
    Measurement of the clinker content in different types of cement.

    CO2 – Carbon dioxide
    See Carbon dioxide

    Coal
    Solid fuel, rich in carbon, derived from the decomposition in the absence of air of organic substances, mostly vegetable. The decomposition can be spontaneous (natural coal) or caused by heating (artificial coal). Coal is extracted from mines. It also contains ashes that can chemically contribute to the desire recipe for cement production.

    Combustion
    Chemical reaction of a fuel with a comburent, often with development of carbon oxides, water vapor and thermal energy. In the cement production process, the combustion takes place in the clinker kiln.

    Concrete
    The most common construction material used on Earth. From the mixing of aggregates, water cement, additives and other additions a paste is created that is malleable for a short period and is transported, generally in a cement mixer, to the construction site to make any type of structure after it has hardened. The almost unlimited combination of components allows us to guarantee an infinite number of performances both fresh and after hardening. Beside durability, concrete is a material that is very flexible in its usage and resistant to acid, sulfate, fire.

    Continuous improvement
    Management system based on the idea of systematically looking for ways to improve the way of working to attain optimum performances. It can be supported by statistical methods to optimize efficiency and minimize waste in any process so as to improve performance better and make it more progressive and continuous.

    Crushing
    Industrial process in which the size of the subject matter of the crushing is reduced, for example of that extracted from the quarries. The rocks are crushed to a size that is compatible with the subsequent process phases (eg. grinding).

  • D

    Dioxins
    Class of chlorinated aromatic organic compounds. Dioxins are low volatile compounds due to their high molecular weight and are fat soluble. Due to these characteristics they tend to accumulate in living tissues. Laboratory experiments on animals indicate that dioxin is one of the most toxic anthropogenic compounds. It is one of the compounds which is regularly controlled at main emission stacks.

  • E

    EAS
    Acronym. Ecology, Environment and Safety.

    Eco-friendly
    Characteristic deriving from processes designed to minimize the negative impact of the industrial system. It also refers to the responsibility, in human actions, towards the environment and its resources. For products it can refer to their long term cycle such as LCA (life-cycle analysis) which takes into account the entire life of a product from production, usage to elimination.

    EMAS - Eco-Management and Audit Scheme
    Voluntary scheme created by the European Community which can be joined voluntarily by organizations (companies, public bodies, etc.) to assess and improve their environmental performance and provide the public and other interested parties with information on their environmental management. The main aim of EMAS is to help create sustainable economic development, highlighting the role and responsibilities of businesses. To obtain (and maintain) the EMAS certification (registration), organizations must subject their environmental management system to a compliance assessment by an Accredited Auditor, and have the same auditor validate their Environmental Report (and its updates, which are usually annual).

    Emissions
    Discharge of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance introduced into the ecosystem, which can directly or indirectly impact the environment. In cement production, emissions are regulated, reported and monitored on a continuous basis.
    Specifically for CO2
    "Scope 1" emissions: these are all direct emissions from the company's sources or those controlled by the company. To calculate the direct emissions of CO2 equivalents (purpose 1), the emission factors of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories were used (IPCC 2006 Guidelines).
    "Scope 2" emissions: these are the indirect emissions of the company, ie those related to the purchase of energy from sources controlled by another subject. The emission factors provided by Ecoinvent 3.3 were used to calculate the indirect emissions of CO2 equivalents (purpose 2). The Ecoinvent 3.3 database is a database that has emission factors linked to the electricity production mix of different countries in the world.

    Environment
    Set of chemical-physical characteristics (abiotic factors) and biological (biotic factors) of the context in which an organism is inserted or a company operates. Overall, the environment includes air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, human beings and their interrelations.

    Environmental certification
    Certificate issued by external auditors that certifies the Environmental Management System adopted within a production plant. Environmental certification can refer to international (such as ISO 14001) or European (such as EMAS Regulation) standards.

    Environmental Management System
    Part of the general company management system developed in compliance with environmental, quality and safety regulations. It includes the organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes, resources to develop, implement, achieve, review and maintain this company policy. Management systems can be certified under some specific standards (eg ISO 14001 for environment, ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 18001 for Safety and many others).

    EPA
    Acronym (USA): Environmental Protection Agency.

    EPD
    Acronym: Environmental Product Declaration. The Environmental Product Declaration is a communication tool created to develop environmentally sustainable products. EPDs are documents or information, that are not product specifications (they do not contain usage recommendation or expected performance). Their objectives are: the dissemination of detailed and verifiable information relating to environmental aspects, the encouragement for the demand and supply of ecologically preferable products and the promotion of environmental improvement.

    ETS
    Acronym of Emissions Trading System. It is an administrative tool used by the European Union to limit emissions of polluting gases through the creation of an emission rights market to achieve the CO2 reduction targets established by the Kyoto protocol and the subsequent Paris agreement. It consists in the possibility of purchasing emission permits from another operator, which is also subject to emission reduction restrictions, while defining an overall cap of emissions both per plant and per country. The best-known emission trading system is based on CO2 but there are other emissions trading systems for other pollutants such as NOx, SO2.

  • F

    Fossil fuel
    Product of the transformations suffered by large forests buried millions of years ago. Fossil fuels are coal, oil, natural gas and pet-coke which is derived from crude oil.

    Frequency rate (Safety indicator)
    Health and Safety indicator used to calculate the frequency of lost time accident through a ratio of number of accidents that have occurred in a year divided by the hours worked in the same year. The rate is multiplied by 200,000 (1,000,000 hours is used as industry benchmark), a factor enabling presentation of the number of work accidents every 100 full time workers over one year (with the assumption that a full time worker works about 2,000 hours per year).

    FTE
    Acronym. Full Time Equivalent. Indicator that identifies workers on a full-time basis or those who perform work for a total of 40 hours per week (as per CCNL).

  • G

    g/t TCE
    Grams per ton of cement equivalent.

    Greenhouse effect
    Physical phenomenon which consists in the trapping in the atmosphere of part of the energy coming from the surface of the Earth, which otherwise would be lost in space. It depends on the presence of some gases in the atmosphere (the so-called greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), perfluorinated hydrocarbons (PFC), hydrogen-containing fluorohydrocarbons (HFC), hexafluoride sulfur (SF6) and allows to maintain a suitable temperature on the Earth. Anthropic activities can lead to an increase in the presence of these gases and, with it, of the greenhouse effect, giving rise to climate changes in the medium term.

    GRI
    Acronym. Global Reporting Initiatives. GRI was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative between the US government organization CERES (Coalition for Environmental Responsible Economics - Coalition for Responsible Environmental Economics) and the United Nations Environment Program, with the aim of improving quality, the rigor and usefulness of sustainability reports. This initiative was actively supported by rep