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First Sustainable Development Report by MPA Cement

Published by
World Cement,

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) cement division’s first Sustainable Development Report marks a significant change from reporting solely on cement’s environmental performance. The new report examines the industry’s broader sustainable development aspirations, not only in the manufacturing process, but also in how cement can help to contribute to a more sustainable environment, economy and society.

Dr Pal Chana, Executive Director, commented on the report: “This report highlights the crucial role cement plays in our everyday lives. From building new homes and much needed infrastructure, to laying the foundations for the emerging green economy; a thriving, competitive, domestic cement industry is vital.”

Sustainable Development Report 2012

Sustainable cement production
In 2005 MPA’s predecessor, the British Cement Association, initiated a Sector Plan agreement with the Environment Agency (EA) that set targets to 2010 for a variety of environmental measures and community relations objectives. The industry met all of its targets set out in the Sector Plan and it did so a number of years earlier than planned in all cases, transforming the industry’s environmental footprint. The industry has now agreed on a new Sector Plan with the EA. The UK cement industry is committed to the carbon reduction goals set out by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (WBCSD CSI), as well as complying with domestic commitments or European legislative requirements in terms of its sustainable development goals.

Managing the industry’s environmental footprint
MPA cement members are committed to the MPA Biodiversity Strategy. The strategy is based upon the following commitments:

  • To extend knowledge of the wildlife on member sites.
  • To share best practice between members.
  • Develop partnerships with other organisations.
  • Celebrate successes.
  • Understand the contribution to the delivery of biodiversity targets.
  • Increase influence.
  • Promote biodiversity through assets.

Through the European cement industry trade association, CEMBUREAU, an EU-wide biodiversity strategy is being developed to help member state governments to reach their biodiversity targets.

Engaging communities
The UK cement industry employs around 2000 people directly and 15 000 indirectly. The jobs offered by the industry make a major contribution to local economies. Cemex, Hanson, Hope Construction Materials and Lafarge Tarmac all offer community engagement programmes in the UK.

Where cement is used
8.9 million tonnes of cement were sold in Great Britain in 2012. 55% went to ready-mixed concrete producers, 23% was delivered to precast concrete producers, 19% was destined for merchants (e.g. packed cement) and 3% went to other uses, such as soil stabilisation.

Increasing efficiency
Since 2008, the structure of the cement sector has changed. Previously cement was produced at the kiln site and then sold onto the market. However, in order to make important efficiency savings the cement industry has moved production to more efficient kilns and some MPA members have installed specialised grinding and blending facilities.

Emissions performance
Emissions have decreased significantly from 1998 – 2012. Oxides of nitrogen emissions are down 58% per t, sulfur dioxide emissions fell by 80% per t, dust emissions are down 80% per t and carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 21% per t. A slight increase in these emissions has occurred compared to 2011, however all emissions are well within the Environmental Permitting Regulations limits.

Dr Chana added, “Our sustainable development challenges are many and varied, but our strength lies in recognising what these are, setting them out clearly for external stakeholders to see, implementing the measures necessary to meet these challenges and reporting on progress. This first full sustainable development report for the UK cement industry is an important step along a journey that is leading us to a more sustainable future.”

Read MPA Cement’s Sustainable Development Report 2012 here.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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