Germany: HeidelbergCement has highlighted occupational safety and research into CO2reduction as priorities in its sustainability report for 2017.
It reduced its accident frequency rate for employees with at least one lost working day per 1,000,000 hours across cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates to 1.8 in 2017 from 2.2 in 2016.
“This represents a significant improvement. A large number of locations have now been accident-free for several years, while others have seen drastically reduced accident rates. Nevertheless, serious accidents still occurred in 2017. We will therefore further intensify our efforts to prevent accidents on a permanent basis,” said Bernd Scheifele, the chairman of HeidelbergCement.
The building materials producer has also singled out its commitment to reduce its specific CO2emissions by 30% in 2030 compared with 1990. It plans to support this by continually increasing the proportion of alternative raw materials and fuels and, wherever possible, to make its production processes more efficient. In addition, HeidelbergCement has invested in research programmes on carbon capture and its utilisation as a raw material. In 2017, it spent Euro141m on research and technology, an increase of around Euro24m from 2016.
Following HeidelbergCement’s acquisition of Italcementi in 2016 its CO2 emissions have increased. Its specific net CO2 emissions (per tonne of cementitious material) rose by 1.9% year-on-year to 609kg Co2/t in 2017 from 598 kg Co2/t in 2016. Its overall proportion of alternative fuels has also decreased slightly dropping to 20.8% from 21.4%. However, its specific energy consumption for cement and clinker continued to fall in 2017.