Germany's environmental advances

Germany's environmental advances
Published: 07 January 2016


The recently-published "Environmental data of the German Cement Industry 2014" highlights efforts made by the German cement industry to make production as resource-efficient as possible and to further reduce emissions.

"Particular mention should be made of the fact that the producers are doing a lot to preserve natural resources through the increased use of alternative raw materials and fuels," notes Martin Schneider, general manager of the German Cement Works Association (VDZ).

CO2 reduction efforts
In 2014 the specific energy-related CO2 emissions per tonne of cement produced amounted on average to 170kg of CO2, a figure slightly lower than in the previous year (2013: 173 kg). This latest reduction can be attributed to further process technology optimisation and a lowering of the clinker content of the cement thanks to the use of other main constituents such as GGBS.

Increased alternative raw materials and fuels usage
The increasing use of alternative fuels is of particular importance for the cement industry. The proportion of the fuel energy requirement accounted for by these rose again in 2014, reaching a figure of more than 63 per cent. Substitute products were employed in place of approximately 2.2Mt of coal, thus saving around 2.1Mt of CO2 as compared to the use of conventional hard coal.

In this way, the German cement industry again made a contribution to the preservation of natural resources and the practical utilisation of substances from other processes in keeping with the German Recycling and Wastes Act in 2014, the VDZ notes.