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Cemex strives for greater sustainability

World Cement,

“During 2009, despite the challenges posed by the global economic crisis, Cemex deepened its commitment to its sustainable development initiatives,” said Lorenzo H. Zambrano, Cemex Chairman and CEO. “Taken together, our initiatives to address climate change implemented since 2006 allow us to avoid more than 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions on an annualized basis, the equivalent of emissions made by about 290 000 passenger vehicles in one year. We reconfirm our commitment to address climate change and to the development of a low-carbon economy.”

The achievements listed below highlight Cemex’s dedication to making a positive impact throughout its operations worldwide, as it works, together with its stakeholders, to build a sustainable future.

Workplace safety

Cemex has reduced its Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) 33% in 2009 to 3.2 incidents per million hours worked. Cemex will continue working towards its ultimate goal of zero incidents and confirms its target LTIFR of 2.5 by 2010. 

In 2009, 98% of Cemex sites had implemented the company’s Safety Management System, up from 80% in 2008, and on track to reach 100%. The system covers practices in driving safety, contractor management, and safety leadership, among others.

Environment and climate change

Cemex achieved a 20.7% reduction on CO2 emissions per ton of cement produced relative to its 1990 baseline. Cemex re-confirms its 25% reduction target by 2015.

Cemex increased the use of alternative fuels (which include more environmentally-friendly energy sources such as household, industrial, and agricultural waste) from 10.3% in 2008 to 16.4%, in 2009, exceeding its target for 2015 ahead of time. Cemex re-confirms its targeted alternative fuels substitution rate of 23% by 2020.

In 2009, Cemex achieved a 12.2% raw material substitution rate in its clinker production, an important component of cement production, with byproducts from steel and coal power generating plants, reducing the use of conventional raw materials processed by its kilns and avoiding CO2 emissions. Cemex has exceeded its 12% target by 2015 ahead of time, and re-confirms its target of 15% substitution rate by 2020.

Cemex completed the EURUS wind farm, developed jointly with ACCIONA Energía, the third largest project of its kind registered as a United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism project. EURUS satisfies 25% of Cemex’s power requirements in Mexico.

Cemex’s Center for Technology and Innovation in Switzerland is developing more energy efficient building materials for use in sustainable construction and the creation of buildings with a diminished environmental footprint.

Cemex began co-chairing the Urban Infrastructure Initiative, a WBCSD project promoting “a world where cities provide a sustainable environment to live, work and play” and became a member of the United Nations Environment Program’s Sustainable Building and Climate Initiative (SBCI).

Land Management and Biodiversity

Overall, 82% of Cemex active sites have quarry rehabilitation plans in place achieving the 2010 target ahead of time, and on track to meet its goal of 100% by 2015.

Cemex continued working alongside BirdLife International to enhance its biodiversity management.

Cemex continues to maintain one of the five great wilderness ecosystems of the world, El Carmen, home to more than 500 animal and 500 plant species, some of which are protected.

Access to improved housing and community infrastructure

Patrimonio Hoy, the company’s low-income housing programme received the UN HABITAT Business Awards in the category of affordable housing. The programme, now available in five countries – Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and as of 2009, the Dominican Republic – has nearly 100 service centres and has assisted more than 260 000 families, an increase of 16% from 2008.

The company continues to expand its portfolio of low-income housing and community infrastructure solutions through several programs, including: Centros Productivos de Autoempleo, ConstruApoyo, Mejora tu Calle, and Lazos Familiares.

In coordination with the achievements noted above, during 2009 Cemex launched an initiative to foster a culture of innovation throughout its operations. This effort coordinates experts from all of Cemex’s business units to develop initiatives targeted at reducing energy use, increasing the use of alternative fuels, improving customer service and promoting new ready mix products for sustainable construction.

Cemex intends to continue pursuing important and decisive actions towards strengthening its commitment to sustainable development as part of its overall business model.

Cemex's sustainability goals and progress are outlined in the Company's 2009 Sustainable Development Report, which is aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Guidelines, the most widely used and credible sustainability reporting framework globally. Cemex has achieved a GRI-checked A+ for the second consecutive year, the highest possible application level, demonstrating its commitment to transparency.

The full 2009 Sustainable Development Report, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers independent assurance statement, is available online in the sustainable development section at More information on the GRI is available at

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