The UK cement industry today published its environmental performance results to the end of 2011 in a new interim sustainable development report. Building on its strong track record over the period 2005 to 2010, which was covered by a Sector Plan agreement with the Environment Agency, the industry once again saw improvements in most of its main emissions to air, including carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and dust. The industry recorded a very slight increase in emissions of sulphur dioxide due to natural fluctuations in quarried stone geology.
Following the expiration of the first Sector Plan agreed with the Environment Agency, the cement industry continued to press on with its planned performance improvements while it negotiated a revised Sector Plan based on the current Environment Agency priority areas. This new agreement between the industry and the Environment Agency will take it through to 2020 with key milestones also being set for 2015.
Commenting on the industry’s solid performance, Dr Pal Chana, Executive Director MPA Cement, said “The cement industry has not rested on its laurels during the transition to a new Sector Plan and has continued to drive forward its environmental performance. From a 1998 baseline we have reduced our emissions of oxides of nitrogen by 60 per cent; sulphur dioxide by 84 per cent; and dust by 82 per cent. Carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of cement equivalent are down by 22 per cent over a 1990 baseline. 1 Much of this has been achieved at a time when we have faced the most difficult trading conditions since records began in the 1950s. I pay tribute to the on-going efforts that our members are making”.
Dr Chana went on to explain that “Unlike previous cement industry Performance reports, this interim sustainable development report concentrates on the industry’s vision for the future, with less emphasis on past performance. Next year the industry will complete the transition to a full sustainable development report which will include visionary aspirations and an update against our new Sector Plan targets.