About Us - Press Release - CEMEX announces progress in its efforts to address climate change
December 8, 2009
CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: CX), announced today the progress in its efforts to address climate change and re-confirmed its commitment to a low-carbon economy, in connection with the Copenhagen Climate Conference (COP15). As a large multinational company with presence in more than 50 countries, CEMEX has focused on introducing measures to minimize its environmental impacts, on generating awareness, and on promoting solutions associated with the need for companies like itself to work with peers, governments, and key stakeholders to balance profitability and sustainable development.
"At CEMEX, we acknowledge the global challenges posed by climate change and are committed to applying our ideas, our skills, our technologies, and our determination to engage in developing a pathway to a low-carbon economy. As a result, we have sought to cultivate across the Company a greater sense of urgency that leads to concrete actions and progress with regard to sustainable development," said Lorenzo Zambrano, CEMEX Chairman and CEO. "Sustainable and responsible business practices are vital to building a better world for future generations, and will also ensure our company's long-term competitiveness."
CEMEX's Efforts to Address Climate Change
CEMEX seeks best-practice solutions to tackle climate change. It has adopted a multi-faceted approach to reducing its local and global impacts on the planet by promoting environmental knowledge and disclosing its sustainability progress. As part of CEMEX's global strategy, it has established a commitment to reduce CO2 emissions per metric ton of product 25% from 1990 levels by 2015. As of 2008, there was a 15.8% reduction from 1990 levels. CEMEX has also joined the Prince of Wales' Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, where it signed the Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change. For more information visit www.copenhagencommunique.com.
CEMEX's contribution to a low carbon world is currently driven by the following priorities (for further details, see www.cemex.com/sustainability)
Innovation and Sustainable Construction
CEMEX aims to be the building materials supplier of choice and provides high quality and innovative products that help make construction more sustainable. Buildings utilize about one-third of the world's energy and consume around 84% of the energy throughout their use. When properly designed and constructed, concrete buildings can improve energy efficiency and can last for decades with little or no maintenance. Led by its Global Center for Technology and Innovation in Biel, Switzerland, CEMEX's research labs work to develop more sustainable building products.
Reducing carbon emissions from operations and improving the energy efficiency of our plants and processes is a cornerstone of CEMEX's efforts. We are also reducing the energy needed to make cement by using a smaller percentage of the energy intensive ingredient clinker in our end product. We do this by substituting clinker with alternative materials such as by-products from other industries, primarily fly ash from coal-fired power stations and blast furnace slag from the steel industry. In 2008, our alternative material substitution rate was 12%, meeting our milestone for 2015 ahead of time and making us well placed to reach our 15% target by 2020.
Alternative Fuels and Renewable Energy
CEMEX has increased its use of alternative fuels and renewable sources of energy, as another way to reduce carbon emissions. Globally, CEMEX set a goal to increase alternative fuels to 15% by 2015 and 23% by 2020. To date, alternative fuels represent 16% of the company's energy consumption -exceeding our 2015 target ahead of time- and several plants in Europe have reached rates of 70%. Recently, in the UK, regulators granted CEMEX permission to manufacture and use a waste-derived fuel called Climafuel. CEMEX has replaced up to 30% of fossil fuels, such as coal, at the company's plant in Rugby, UK, with Climafuel, creating significant environmental and sustainability benefits, including a marked reduction of nitrogen oxides emissions. The company has also registered several United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in Colombia and Costa Rica, and has recently announced completion of Eurus, the largest wind power generator in Latin American, that will supply 25% of CEMEX's power needs in Mexico.
Carbon Capture and Storage
Carbon capture and storage, an emerging approach to mitigating global warming based on the concept of capturing carbon and permanently storing it away from the atmosphere. CEMEX is currently engaged in this important area of research. In October, the US Department of Energy (DOE) selected CEMEX to develop technology for capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions at one of CEMEX's US cement plants.
Most of CEMEX's cement kilns are located near quarries, in order to reduce the distance that raw materials must travel. In addition, CEMEX makes roughly 94% of its purchases from locally-based suppliers, and makes use of alternatives to road transport, such as rail, sea and inland waterways, to deliver products where viable.
Disclosure and Auditing of Carbon Emissions
CEMEX conducts a rigorous tracking of its global carbon emissions, which are audited externally and published every year in its Sustainable Development Report. The company also participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a voluntary initiative that requests annual information on companies' climate change risk management and performance.
CEMEX acknowledges its responsibility to land management, as well as its potential to contribute to the conservation of the planet. In addition to our El Carmen initiative, which protects 200,000 hectares of land along the US-Mexico border, CEMEX also established a 10-year global partnership with BirdLife International to enhance its quarry rehabilitation efforts.
CEMEX recognizes that ongoing dialogue is key to effectively address climate change. As a result, the company actively participates in national and international environmental forums. The company is actively involved with the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) and the Energy Efficiency in Buildings initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). CEMEX is also part of the UN Caring for Climate initiative.
CEMEX's sustainability goals and progress are outlined in the Company's 2008 Sustainable Development Report which is aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, achieving a GRI-checked A+, the highest possible level, demonstrating CEMEX's commitment to transparency. For more information, visit www.cemex.com/sustainability.
CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through its efforts to pursue innovative industry solutions and efficiency advancements and to promote a sustainable future.