From energy and mobility to product formulation and next-generation technologies, we are lowering the carbon footprint of our operations.
At Holcim, we are working to increase the share of green energy across all aspects of our business. This is part of our goal to reduce our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
Climate action is at the core of our strategy. We were the first global building materials and solutions company to have our 2030 and 2050 net-zero targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for all scopes. The SBTi has approved our upgraded near-term targets in line with the 1.5°C degree science-based framework.
We replace fossil fuels with alternative fuels, and in 2022 we sourced 28% of our thermal energy from alternative fuels including biomass and sources of non-recyclable waste. Some of our sites, such as the ones in Austria and the Czech Republic, are operating at close to 100% alternative fuels.
Our plant in Retznei, Austria is leading the way in alternative fuels. Using a technique called co-processing, we recover energy and recycle minerals from waste treatment during cement manufacturing. This means no traditional fuels are used to heat the kiln, leading to negative fuel costs and an increased thermal substitution rate.
Electricity is a major category of energy use. Wherever possible, we are moving to decarbonized sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. Colombia is already operating with 100% decarbonized electricity. Using solar panels, we are able to generate 10 MW at our Hagerstown plant in Maryland, saving the equivalent of over 12,000 tons of CO₂. At our Paulding plant in the US, we’ve installed three wind turbines to supply clean wind power for the electric needs of our plant, eliminating the equivalent of 9,000 tons of CO₂ per year.
Our goal is to reduce Scope 2 emissions – which come from purchased electricity to power our sites – by 65% by 2030.
We have waste heat recovery programs in place designed to use excess heat from cement kilns to generate electricity. We currently operate eight waste heat recovery units in four countries, with the plan to triple the number by 2030. In 2022, we produced 300 GWh of electricity from waste heat recovery, saving approximately 150,000 tons of CO₂.
We offer the industry’s broadest range of alternative materials thanks to our formulation expertise using innovative low-emission raw materials from calcined clay to construction and demolition materials, to decarbonize our concrete and cement mixes.
For example, our new calcined clay cement production line in France produces ECOPlanet cement with 50% less CO2, thanks to Holcim's ProximA Tech proprietary technology.
Calcined clay is a low-emission material we use to decarbonize cement. When produced with our proprietary technology, proximA Tech, calcined clay cement has a 50% lower CO2 footprint compared to standard cement.
In 2023, we launched Europe’s first calcined clay cement operation, financially supported by the French government as part of its investments in large-scale decarbonization initiatives. We are expanding this innovation globally. ECOPlanet products using calcined clay cement are currently available in Italy and France, and industrial trials are underway across all regions.
WE ARE LEADING THE TRANSITION TO GREENER MOBILITY BY ADOPTING THE MOST SUSTAINABLE AND EFFICIENT TRANSPORT OPTIONS, FROM BIOFUELS AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO RAILWAYS AND BARGES.
We are deploying electric fleets wherever we can across our operations: from autonomous e-vehicles in our quarries to long-haul e-trucks to distribute our materials. We are pushing the boundaries of digitalization across our business, starting with transport and logistics. Transport Analytics Center (TAC) is our proprietary digital technology that optimizes load and route efficiency, safety and carbon footprint.
In Europe, Colombia and Mexico, we are piloting electric ready-mix concrete trucks that can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional models.
Beyond our own operations, we work closely with our supply chain partners to support them with green mobility solutions. Our rigorous ESG approach and standards extend beyond our own operations to include all aspects of our supply chain.
TO ACCELERATE OUR NET-ZERO JOURNEY, WE ARE DEVELOPING NEXT-GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES, ESPECIALLY CARBON CAPTURE, UTILIZATION AND STORAGE (CCUS).
At Holcim, our experts are continuously developing the latest technologies to make construction more sustainable, while contributing to the global net-zero transition.
Working with a range of partners from start-ups to academic institutions, we are also developing breakthrough technologies like magnetizable concrete to enable roads to charge electric cars while in motion.
We are running more than 50 CCUS and mineralization projects around the world, recycling the CO2 from our plants across various applications from fuel and plastics to agriculture.
In 2022, the European Innovation Fund awarded us two grants totaling EUR 328 million for CCUS projects in Poland and Germany. The project in Germany will capture carbon from our Lägerdorf plant, and then turn it into synthetic fuel for the mobility sector and feedstock for the chemical industry. In Poland, we are building an end-to-end CCS chain, starting with CO2 capture from our site in Kujawy to offshore storage in the North Sea, with the vision to be a net-zero plant by 2027. Both projects aim to develop highly replicable carbon capture solutions to drive the decarbonization of the building sector.
Our Plants of Tomorrow program is deploying automated and data-driven solutions to make our operations more sustainable, from robotics to predictive maintenance.
As part of our Plants of Tomorrow initiative, the Maya cement plant in El Salvador is developing next-generation technologies. It now uses a Remote Plant Control system and thermographic scanners to monitor kiln temperatures.