The UK cement industry has cut its annual emissions of carbon dioxide, the gas linked with global warming by more than 18 per cent (over 2Mt) over the last eight years, according to the latest Performance report produced by the British Cement Association (BCA).
The reduction was achieved through replacing traditional fossil fuels with more sustainable (usually waste-derived) alternatives; blending cement-like materials with traditional cement; using alternative raw materials and other significant investment by BCA members.
The report highlights further progress in the industry’s contribution to the UK sustainable development agenda. The cement industry consumes more than 10 times the amount of waste it disposes of, and in 2005 used more than one million tonnes of waste as replacement for conventional raw materials and fossil fuels.
Mike Gilbert, Chief Executive of the British Cement Association said: “The environment and reducing our impact on it has been a key focus for the industry for many years. I am pleased with the progress we have made, but even more excited by what’s to come. The cement process is uniquely placed to make use of some wastes as fuel and raw materials and is therefore doing its bit to move the nation towards greater sustainability. We crystallised this potential last year when we published our sustainability agenda. It is our goal to adopt the practices set out in that agenda so that by 2010 we will be seen as leading the way in sustainability.”
UK cement manufacturers have signed a Climate Change Levy Agreement with Government to deliver an overall energy efficiency improvement across their sector of 26.8 per cent by 2010 against a base year of 1990. The industry has already achieved a 25 per cent improvement in energy efficiency. The use of fossil fuels to generate energy has decreased by almost 23 per cent since 1998 per tonne of cement produced, while on the same basis, the use of raw materials dropped by 2.5 per cent.
This third issue of Performance, reports for the first time against new environmental improvement targets agreed with the industry’s regulator, the Environment Agency.