We address environmental and climate change issues by reducing CO₂ emissions, energy consumption, water withdrawal and preserve natural habitats and biodiversity.
Environmental risks management
The Group analyses the environmental risks to ensure compliance with current regulations, best environmental standards and Best Available Techniques (BAT). It ensures that all businesses operate with a certified environmental management system.
As of 2020, 8 cement plants (accounting for the 93% of total cement production), 2 ready-mixed concrete companies (accounting for 25% of total RMC production) and all waste management companies have adopted a ISO 14001 certified management system.
The Group aims to increase the level of energy efficiency and is committed to all cement plants operating with a certified energy management system.
In 2020, seven cement plants, accounting for the 76% of the total cement production, adopted the ISO 50001 certification for energy management systems.
The Aalborg plant recovers excess heat from cement production to provide district heating to local inhabitants. The recovered thermal energy is used to heat the homes of about 36,000 families. In 2020, Aalborg Portland delivered about 1.8 million GJ of energy to the municipality of Aalborg with an annual CO2 savings of 150,000 tons for the municipality.
The Group promotes an efficient use of water resources and monitors water withdrawal on a monthly basis for each plant. In 2020, total water withdrawal decreased by 5% and the percentage of reused water rose to 40% of the total.
Managing quarrying activities
The 95% of quarries used by the Group has a rehabilitation plan in place. Each plan defines the goal and timetables for the reintegration of a quarry into the surrounding landscape. The rehabilitation processes start when the quarry is still in operation, by reclaiming the areas that are no longer used.
In Denmark, the purpose of the rehabilitation plan is to transform the chalk pit into a “Family Lake Park", a recreational area close to Aalborg with a variety of leisure and sporting amenities for the local population.
In Belgium we participate in the Life in Quarries initiative, a project founded by the European Commission to develop biodiversity and the rehabilitation of closed quarries.
In China, our plan has been included in Anhui Province 2018-2025 Green Mine Plans. This project targets to rehabilitate and reintegrate the benches of the quarry not used anymore into the surrounding landscape as well as establishing dust and noise monitoring systems and construction of new surface water drainage systems in and around the quarry site.
Cement production certified ISO 14001*
Quarries with a rehabilitation plan in place
Recycled water in cement production
* Environmental Management Systems
Innovation, research and development at the service of sustainability
We strive to maintain a technological edge as Innovation, Research and Development are powerful tools to improve our environmental footprint. We consider R&D as an essential strategic activity to improve both product quality and process costs but also to improve sustainability. Through our innovation platform InWhite SolutionTM we engineer and develop new materials and new solutions to improve energy efficiency and push product boundaries towards new applications.