Hima outlines sustainability initiatives, Uganda

Hima outlines sustainability initiatives, Uganda

Ugandan producer Hima Cement has outlined ambitious sustainability plans focussed on five main pillars.

The company, owned by Kenya’s Bamburi Cement and part of the Lafarge Group, said the plan will be a key focus this year. Projects will be aimed at improving the areas of operational cost management, environmental conservation, job creation, health and safety and community development.

Hima Cement's general manager, Daniel Pettersson, told AllAfrica.com that as global market demands change, the firm has a responsibility to set the pace for its sector and the entire construction value chain.

Taking direction from Lafarge’s Sustainability Ambitions 2020, plans include reducing reliance on fossil fuels and optimising the use of natural resources. Currently Hima derives 53 per cent of its kiln fuel from biomass (including coffee husks, rise husks and palm kernels). So far the biomass use has delivered environmental benefits through a CO2 emission reduction of 67,000tpa.

The sustainability plan is also expected to improve the lifestyles of local communities through job creation which will in turn increase household revenues. These jobs are in the line of biomass materials handling as well as business opportunities through supply chain.

Currently Hima cement is empowering farmers through a coffee growing project in which it is distributing subsidised coffee seedlings to farmers. The first phase of the project which started in 2011 saw 7.1m seedlings distributed to over 35,000 farmers in Kasese and Kamwenge districts. Phase two of the project will see an additional 9.6m seedlings distributed to farmers over the next two years.

The sustainability plan also includes continued full rehabilitation of used quarries and achieving zero fatalities and lost time injuries for its employees and contractors in the elaborate health & safety ambition.

"These sustainability ambitions are our commitment to future generations," Pettersson said.