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Votorantim Cimentos announces 2030 Sustainability Commitments

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

Votorantim Cimentos, an international building materials, mining and solutions company, has announced its 2030 sustainability commitments. The objective is to align the company’s worldwide operations to current and future needs of society, thereby creating a positive impact on the entire value chain and in the communities where the company operates. The commitments are divided into seven pillars: ethics and integrity, health, safety and well-being, diversity and inclusion, innovation, environmental footprint, circular economy, and shared value.

Like all human and industrial activity, the cement production process also has an impact on the planet. One of the main challenges is the reduction of CO2 emissions in the face of growing populations and infrastructure demand in the coming years. According to the United Nations (UN), 55% of the world population currently lives in urban areas and the expectation is that this number will increase to 70% by 2050.

Votorantim Cimentos’ goal is to reduce its CO2 emissions per ton of cement to 520 kg by 2030. Between 1990 and 2019, the company reduced its CO2 emissions per ton of cement by 23%, from 763 kg to 591 kg. In the long run, the company is committed to developing and implementing technologies that will enable it to deliver carbon-neutral concrete to society by 2050.

The key levers that will enable the company to achieve the goal of reducing CO2 emissions are:

  • Co-processing – substitution of fossil fuels in cement production kilns, especially for biomass and solid urban waste
  • Reduction of the percentage of clinker in cement – use of materials with hydraulic properties, called cementitious materials (such as blast-furnace slag, fly ash, natural pozzolans, calcined clay, and others), in the production of cement
  • Energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources – 45% of electric energy generated by renewable sources
  • Concrete recycling – making this chain more circular and maximising CO2 absorption by concrete through recarbonation
  • Efficient use of concrete in construction projects
  • Application of technologies of carbon capture and sequestration or carbon use at scale

Concrete is the second most consumed material in the world, after water. Made from cement, it is resilient, versatile, durable and water- and wind-resistant, and enables the construction of the necessary infrastructure for the continuous development of the world. One initiative in support of the goal of carbon neutral concrete was the worldwide launch, in September of this year, of the 2050 Carbon Neutral Concrete Climate Ambition by the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), an entity to which Votorantim Cimentos is a signatory.

This is a historic milestone; the largest cement and concrete companies in the world have joined forces to establish a collective ambition for a carbon neutral future. Efforts are now focused on producing global and regional technological roadmaps – documents that detail initiatives and practical actions to achieve this goal. Another important step in the development of new technologies was the creation of Innovandi, a research and innovation platform that brings together the cement and concrete industry, suppliers of inputs and equipment, research institutions and academia, with the common goal of developing sustainable solutions for the construction chain.

“Our 2030 Sustainability Commitments are aligned with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) best practices and converge with our commitment to the Climate Change agenda. Our vision for the future is based on the concept of ‘flexible solidity’. We are solid in delivering what we set ourselves to do with excellence, ethics, safety and global performance. At the same time, we are flexible to adapt to the new needs of society, leveraging trends and technological developments to make better use of resources, evolve processes and positively impact people’s lives,” said Álvaro Lorenz, Votorantim Cimentos’ Global Director of Sustainability and Institutional Relations.

Company goals

For Votorantim Cimentos, sustainability is a journey that goes along with its more than 80 years of history. In 2020, the company has taken another step by renewing its previously established sustainability commitments. To meet the new needs of society, the commitments are also aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global agenda with 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030.

Votorantim Cimentos’ 2030 Commitments:

Ethics and Integrity – The company operates with integrity and transparency. The path to operational excellence invariably involves ensuring high standards of compliance, ethics and transparency. That is why the company makes every effort to ensure that these premises are always part of the company’s reality and everyday activities. This nonnegotiable commitment is all-encompassing and serves as a foundation for all others assumed by Votorantim Cimentos.

Safety, health and well-being are fundamental values

  • Target: Global lost-time injury rate for direct and contracted employees lower than 0.40.
  • Target: Achieve zero fatalities in operations.
  • Target: Achieve at least 85% employee favourability in climate surveys.

Innovation – Co-creating sustainable solutions

  • Target: 30% of revenue from sustainable solutions. Percentage of revenue from products and/or services that mitigate the company’s environmental footprint or offer environmental benefits compared to traditional options.

Diversity and inclusion – A diverse and inclusive environment

  • Target: At least 25% of leadership positions occupied by women.
  • Target: Achieve at least 90% favourability with respect to diversity and inclusion in employee surveys.

Environmental Impact – Reducing the company’s environmental footprint

  • Target: Achieve 520 kg of net CO2 emissions per ton of cementitious product.
  • Target: Reduce the emission of particulate matter, SOx, and NOx per ton of product to 30 g, 490 g and 1400 g/t of clinker, respectively.
  • Target: Achieve 45% renewable electricity.
  • Target: Evolve in the implementation of water and biodiversity management plans in sensitive areas.

Promoting Circular Economy businesses

  • Target: Achieve 53% thermal substitution (percentage of energy from alternative fuels in substitution of fossil fuels).
  • Target: Reduce the clinker/cement factor to 68% (proportion between total clinker consumption and cement production).
  • Target: 70% recycled concrete (concrete returned to the company’s concrete operations that is recovered as new concrete or aggregate).

Generating shared values in the community

  • Target: 90% of operations with community engagement, impact assessment and/or development programmes.
  • Target: 20% of employees engaged in volunteer initiatives.
  • Target: 60% local supply (promotion of local purchases, following the specificities and regulations of each region where the company operates).

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