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Sustainability watchdog: Cement companies score on carbon, energy metrics

Sources: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Geneva; CP staff

An external audit of the multinational producers behind the WBCSD Cement Sustainability Initiative finds high scores in two of seven key CSI Charter areas: 1) Carbon Dioxide and Energy Management and 2) Fuels and Materials Use. Emissions reduction and resource optimization have netted economic savings, improved waste recovery, and nurtured innovation.

“The cement sector fully recognizes its responsibility to mitigate its carbon footprint as well as fulfill its broader responsibilities to society and nature,” says Lafarge Group Chairman Bruno Lafont, who co-chairs CSI. “This outlook led to the original and unique development of the CSI over 10 years ago to advance sustainability among the major cement manufacturers around the world.”

CSI’s 24 members mill powder in 100-plus companies; excepting Buzzi, they include all multinational companies with integrated North American operations: Argos, CRH, Cemex, GCC, Heidelberg, Holcim, Italcementi, Lafarge, Taiheiyo, Titan and Votorantim. “The CSI is unique in bringing together cement companies in mature and emerging markets. The charter sets out the commitments through a collaborative approach,” says CSI Managing Director Philippe Fonta. “It reinforces our view that what gets measured gets done.”

In the five other CSI Charter areas of Health and Safety, Emissions Monitoring and Reporting, Governance, Local Impact on Land and Communities, and Reporting and Communications, auditors cite room for improvement on points under the latter two. Results reflect what WBCSD officials note are a robust audit process, plus charter relevance and ambitious, yet achievable, requirements. The results likewise confirm that the charter enables member companies to better integrate their sustainability practices, seek out opportunity for value creation, and manage more effectively their environmental footprints.

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