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Republic Cement cites innovation as key to sustainable development

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World Cement,

With the global sustainable development agenda gaining new momentum on the heels of the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) last year, organisations around the world are ramping up their contributions to climate change mitigation.

In the Philippines, where a dynamic economy continues to sustain robust growth in the construction sector, Republic Cement, a leading cement and construction solutions provider, is spearheading the shift to environmentally responsive manufacturing practices and products.

Speaking at the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) Foundation Summit on Clean Air and Climate Change, Republic Cement Country Chief Executive Officer Don H. Lee shared the company’s many pioneering sustainability initiatives embedded across all aspects of its operations.

Lee explained that, “Over the years, Republic Cement has undertaken significant improvements in its manufacturing processes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

Greening the country

Lee identified one of Republic Cement’s sustainability initiatives in the area of responsible stewardship of natural resources. “Reforestation is an integral part of our operations,” explaining that the company has planted and grown more than 400 000 trees in over 700 hectares of denuded land starting 2013 for its contribution to the country’s reforestation efforts. Republic Cement’s reforestation program is estimated to sequester as much as 78 000 t of CO2 from the atmosphere in the next 10 years.

Launched in 2013, Republic Cement’s reforestation program further aims to expand its scope to 1500 hectares by 2020.

Refuse-derived fuel

Republic Cement also looks to innovative solutions to promote energy efficiency. Lee said that the company has been utilising alternative fuels since 2002, co-processing rice husk and other select biomass as well as refuse-derived fuel (RDF) sourced from solid waste segregation facilities to power its cement manufacturing operations. Republic Cement plants’ co-processing activities contribute to effective waste management while also reducing the company’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Republic Cement also operates a Waste Heat Recovery system in its Teresa Plant in Rizal, which further improves energy efficiency by channelling excess heat from the plant’s production processes to generate electricity. The WHR supplies nearly 30% of the plant’s energy requirements, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 12 000 tpy.

Blended cement

Complementing these various process innovations is Republic Cement’s Total Ash Management agreements with coal-fired power generating companies, which allow for the use of fly and bottom ash, by-products of coal-fired power generation, in the cement manufacturing process. The use of fly and bottom ash provides a viable and sustainable alternative to the use of non-renewable quarry materials.

Republic Cement today is the only cement manufacturer in the country that manufactures fly ash blended cement. Aptly named “Tibay Enhancers,” fly ash blended cement increases the durability of concrete and provides for improved workability and a smoother finish.

Enjoining other companies to continuously improve and make their operations more environmentally responsive, Lee said, “Sustainable development is the shared responsibility of the government and the business sector. At Republic Cement, we’re doing our part to help build a stronger and greener nation,” underscored Lee.

Republic Cement has a nationwide cement manufacturing network with plants in Norzagaray, Bulacan; Teresa in Rizal; Taysan, Batangas; Danao in Cebu; and, Iligan City in Mindanao. It also operates an aggregates plant in Bulacan. Republic Cement likewise maintains a nationwide distribution network of key dealers to address the exacting demands of its broad clientele that ranges from multibillion-peso construction and building conglomerates to individual homebuilders.

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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