Alternative resources

The use of waste as an “alternative fuel and raw material” (AFR) makes a significant contribution to Holcim’s sustainable development and economic performance.

Furthermore, it improves the environmental footprint of our operations by limiting the use of fossil fuels and lowering emissions. In view of the full recovery of waste in the combustion process, Holcim mitigates the risk of rising energy costs, improves energy security and reduces the consumption of natural resources.


In 2014 14% of Holcim’s thermal energy demand was covered by co-processing alternative fuels. 

By 2030, we aspire to use 1 billion tons of secondary resources, replacing approximately 25% of the primary materials we need.

We will replace more fossil fuels with alternative energy sources, and increase our use of industrial by-products such as fly ash and slag. We will also use more construction and demolition waste replacing natural resources. These waste solutions also provide a valuable service for our local communities, by offering a responsible solution to the ever-increasing problem of waste. The benefits include better health, environmental protection and even provision of livelihoods. For details of the waste types used as alternative fuels see our performance datasheet.

For a zero waste future

Innovative waste management

Download the brochure innovative waste management

To continue the responsible handling and storage of waste materials throughout the Group, Holcim has developed and implemented an AFR Certification program (ACERT) to minimize risks at alternative fuels processing facilities. The ACERT system has been implemented at sites using AFR.