LafargeHolcim CEO stresses importance of sustainability

LafargeHolcim CEO stresses importance of sustainability

The Untervaz Cement Plant, in Switzerland.

Copyright LafargeHolcim Ltd | Photographer: Rüdiger Nehmzow

The CEO of LafargeHolcim informed CNBC Thursday that the constructing supplies agency had to enhance operations in order that sustainability turned half of its DNA.

Speaking to “Squawk Box Europe,” Jan Jenisch was requested concerning the matters of ESG (environmental, social and governance), how his business was perceived as being each soiled and vitality inefficient, the notion of utilizing authorities funds to “build back better,” and the position LafargeHolcim may play on this. 

“In our company it’s clear: we want to be part of that, and we have to improve our operations to be more sustainable,” he replied. “For example, this first half year we have further increased the use of alternative fuel, we are already now at (a) 20% alternative fuel rate for all our plants globally.” 

“Furthermore, we introduced our new concrete products, ECOPact, which is a new carbon reduced or even carbon neutral concrete, so we don’t take this lightly at all,” he added. “This will be the main … path for us going forward.”

Recently made available on the U.S. market, ECOPact is available in a quantity of iterations. Depending on which one is used, the corporate claims the product can have “30% to 100% less carbon emissions compared to standard (CEM I) concrete.”

Cement is a vital element in concrete nevertheless it has a giant footprint in relation to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. According to a 2018 report from Chatham House, over four billion metric tons of cement are produced yearly. This, the coverage institute stated, accounts “for around 8% of global CO2 emissions.”

In the previous couple of years, as issues concerning the impression constructing supplies can have on the surroundings have grown, efforts have been made to make companies within the sector handle and scale back their emissions. In July 2019, buyers liable for greater than $2 trillion wrote to firms — together with LafargeHolcim — calling on them to, amongst different issues, be carbon impartial by 2050.

“The cement sector needs to dramatically reduce the contribution it makes to climate change,” Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, stated on the time. “Delaying or avoiding this challenge is not an option,” Pfeifer, who can also be on the steering committee of the Climate Action 100+ scheme, added. “This is ultimately a business-critical issue for the sector.”

LafargeHolcim is one of many firms taking a look at methods to scale back the environmental impression of its merchandise. HeidelbergCement, one other main constructing supplies firm that was additionally addressed within the July 2019 letters, is concentrating on CO2-neutral concrete by the center of the century “at the latest.”

In the U.Okay., the DB Group has developed Cemfree, which it describes as a “totally cement-free alternative to conventional concrete.”

To date, the fabric has been utilized in a quantity of settings, together with half of the M25, a significant freeway within the south of England.

Thursday noticed LafargeHolcim launch outcomes for the primary half of 2020, with the group’s web revenue dropping by 65.7% in comparison with the identical interval in 2019.

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