Cemex has launched its first Sustainable Development Report to build on its corporate reporting framework, which was launched in 2006, and shows that improvements have been made in a number of areas, most significantly in the areas of health and safety, where employee lost time injuries reduced by 56%, alternative fuels use, which increased by 52% and rail and sea freight, which rose by 36%.
Cemex has found that as a result of its approach to combine visible leadership, training and worker involvement initiatives, improvements can be achieved by recording a 56% per cent drop (from 41 to 18) in employee lost time injuries in 2007.
During 2007, Cemex UK increased the use of alternative fuels to part replace fossil fuels, such as coal, to heat its cement kilns. This included chipped tyres and Climafuel, which is derived from household and commercial waste. Last year’s energy recovery from Climafuel alone meant that more than 12,500t of waste was saved from landfill. This is equivalent to the waste that more than 35,000 people (the population of a small town, such as Winchester) send to landfill every year. Based on the biomass content in the alternative fuels used, the company also saved more than 14,500t of CO2, the equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of nearly 6000 cars.
As one of the country’s top 20 logistics operators, Cemex UK transports over 30 million tonnes a year of aggregates and cementitious products by road, rail and sea. Emissions by rail are five times lower per tonne transported compared with road, and so it is a key target to minimise road transport. In 2007, Cemex UK increased the use of rail and sea transport by 36%.
According to Cemex UK’s sustainability director, Andy Spencer, building products are essential for the development of sustainable communities: "Our products and services have a key role to play in contributing to a more sustainable built environment. In producing these, it is a challenge to find ways to minimise the impact that we have, while continuing to meet society’s need for construction materials.
"While the 2007 report shows that Cemex UK is now in control of data and making good progress in a number of areas, the aim is to further improve performance across all our key indicators. In particular, we shall be focusing on the company’s environmental footprint and life cycle performance of products, which is the biggest challenge for CEMEX and the building materials industry as a whole."