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HeidelbergCement releases its latest Sustainability Report

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World Cement,

HeidelbergCement has published its ninth Sustainability Report, recording its targets, measures and achievements in sustainability management. It is the ninth such report from the Germany-based building materials multinational and summarises its drive for sustainable development.

“Sustainable corporate governance means constantly reconciling our profit targets with the need to safeguard our future viability,” said Dr Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board at Heidelberg Cement. “Out sustainability strategy focuses on local responsibility – towards our employees and our neighbours, as well as towards the environment.”

The report includes figures related to HeidelbergCement’s environmental performance, as well as its occupational safety record.

“Compared with 2016, we decreased the accident frequency rate in our core business by 21% in 2017,” said Scheifele. “This represents a significant improvement. A large number of locations has now been accident-free for several years, while others have seen drastically reduced accident rates.”

The company’s accident frequency rate was highest in Western and Southern Europe – although significantly improved in that region compared to 2016. Africa-Eastern Mediterranean Basin reported the lowest accident frequency rate.

On climate protection, the company’s year-on-year performance suffered, following the completion of Italcementi’s integration on 1 July 2016. All three key indicators of environmental performance – specific net CO2 emissions, alternative fuel rate, and clinker ration – deteriorated in 2017.

Specific net CO2 emissions rose to 609.2 kg CO2/t cement from 597.9 kgCO2/t cement, while the alternative fuel rate fell from 21.4% to 20.8%, indicating a reduction in the use of alternative fuels. The clinker ratio – which indicates the amount of clinker used to manufacture cement – rose to 75.3%.

Despite this, the company “has made a commitment to accept our share of the worldwide responsibility to limit the global rise in temperature to below 2°C,” said Scheifele. “With this in mind, HeidelbergCement has set itself the goal of a 30% reduction in its specific net CO2 emissions by 2030, compared with 1990. By 2017, we had already achieved a reduction of 19%.”

The company is also active in various research programmes to develop technologies to capture CO2 emissions and utilise tham as a raw material, as well as investigated the absorption of CO2 by natural minerals with the aim of producing marketable building materials.

“As one of the world’s largest building materials manufacturers, we want to make our business and the future of the building materials industry sustainable – in the interests of our customers, our employees, and our business partners,” concluded Scheifele.

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