Holcim: Working towards CO2 neutral sites.

Holcim: Working towards CO2 neutral sites

Whilst efforts to reduce CO2 emissions at cement manufacturing plants through process innovation is an ongoing focus area, Holcim is also seeking to reduce emissions at other installations too. An example of this is at Holcim Belgium, where a project is underway at to make two sites CO2 neutral. The sites selected for the project are Geocycle in Seneffe, a company which manages industrial waste treatment activities for co-processing in Holcim cement plants, and a concrete plant, "Holcim Bétons", located at Izegem.

An independent company, CO2Logic, conducted an audit, to measure and benchmark emissions on the two sites. The audit enabled the companies identify the principal source of emissions and highlighted opportunities for improvement. In conjunction with workers at the sites, action plans were implemented to reduce CO2 emissions, including the optimization of heating and lighting systems, replacement of inefficient engines and the reduction of waste. Contracts with electricity suppliers were renegotiated to ensure that the sites receive only "green" electricity. Studies are underway to examine the use of sustainable alternative fuels at both sites.

Clear improvements were achieved in 2009. It is estimated that the Izegem concrete plant has reduced emissions by 30%, and the Geocycle plant by 60%. A new independent audit by CO2Logic will be conducted in early 2010 to confirm the improvements, and they will also facilitate the offsetting of remaining emissions. The primary focus however will remain on the reduction of emissions.

Holcim Belgium is considering extending the project to other sites, including concrete and aggregates activities.