10 August 2007
The UK cement industry has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 29% between 1990 and 2006, giving a CO2 saving of over 3.9 million tonnes over this period, according to the latest Performance report published by the British Cement Association. This reflects the continually improving environmental performance of the industry and its drive towards sustainable production.
The reduction has been achieved through the replacing of primary raw materials and fossil fuels by processing wastes and by-products from other industries into alternative raw materials or fuels for use in the cement kiln. In addition, the industry has invested significantly in energy efficient technologies.
The report highlights the industry's further progress towards meeting the environmental targets agreed with the Environment Agency in 2005, as set out in the cement industry Sector Plan published in November that year. It details a 45% fall in the industry's total environmental burden to air between 1998 and 2006, within which dust emissions per tonne of cement manufactured have reduced by 60% over this period, while sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions have fallen by 58% 27% respectively. On health and safety, Performance records a 32% drop in lost time incidents between 2003 and the end of 2006, though the industry recognises its needs to improve further.
Mike Gilbert, Chief Executive of the British Cement Association, said ‘Sustainable production has been a key focus for the UK cement industry for many years. During 2006, the industry has made some excellent progress against Sector Plan targets and the industry has also surpassed its Climate Change Agreement target, set by government, of a 26.6% improvement in specific energy efficiency three years early - a great achievement!
This fourth issue of Performance reports for the first time companies compliance status with the Cement Makers' Code launched by the industry in summer 2006. The code sets out the values, ethics and standards that should be followed by all BCA members in pursuit of all activities. I am delighted to report that all BCA members - Tarmac Buxton Lime and Cement, Castle Cement, CEMEX UK and Lafarge Cement UK - have demonstrated their compliance with the code for 2006.
The members of the BCA are continuing to invest in plant efficiency and enhanced distribution networks. In combination the members produce annually around 12 million tonnes of cement, meeting 90% of the UK's demand for this essential, virtually irreplaceable, building material vital to our built environment. We all depend upon the concrete and mortar we make from cement to build and maintain our homes, schools, offices, shops, hospitals, roads and transport infrastructure, water and energy utilities.'