At Holcim, we are at the forefront of decarbonizing construction, and this starts with green operations - from green energy and mobility to green product formulation, all the way to next generation technologies like CCUS.
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 scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
We source 28% of our thermal energy from biomass, alternative fuels and materials at the end of their life. 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 the manufacturing of cement. 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 and Switzerland, among others, are already operating with 100% decarbonized electricity. Our goal is to reach at least 65% renewable electricity by 2030.
We have waste heat recovery programs in place designed to use excess heat from cement kilns to generate electricity. Seven waste heat recovery systems operate across our Group today, generating 318 GWH of carbon-free electricity, equivalent to carbon savings of 165,000 tons each year.
Our goal is to become a net-zero company. To achieve this, we partnered with the SBTi to develop the first science-based framework aligned with the 1.5°C degree scenario for our industry.
Leading green formulation, we use innovative low-emission raw materials to expand our range of low-carbon building materials.
We are scaling up the recycling of construction and demolition waste in our low-carbon cement and concrete ranges, ECOPlanet and ECOPact.
As a first mover in decarbonizing building, we are making green building accessible to all across our emerging markets, from Mexico to the Philippines. ECOPact was used in Casa Laguna, Ecuador’s largest affordable housing project, with 60% less CO2 compared to standard concrete. ECOPlanet was also used to build Africa’s largest tower – the Iconic Tower in Egypt, contributing also with 60% less CO2 compared to standard concrete.
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 deploying electric fleets wherever we can across our operations: from autonomous e-vehicles in our quarries to long haul e-trucks and barges.
We are pushing the boundaries of digitalization across our business, starting with our logistics. Transport Analytics Center (TAC) is our proprietary digital technology that optimizes load and route efficiency, safety and carbon footprint.
We are currently piloting a model in Europe that can reduce the carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional ready-mix trucks, with the aim to deploy an electric fleet across the region in the coming years. In 2022, we launched a fleet of 100% electric trucks with a 420 km range in Germany. These electric vehicles are a step towards achieving net-zero scope 3 emissions.
Holcim is a founding member of the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition, an industry group that seeks to reduce carbon emissions from waterborne transport in the US through innovation.
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.
Preparing for the future, we are developing next-generation technologies and pushing the boundaries of digitalization to accelerate our net-zero journey.
At Holcim, our experts are continuously developing the latest technologies to make construction more sustainable, while contributing to the global net-zero transition. From advancing our carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) strategy, to our Plants of Tomorrow program, we are embracing the progress of Industry 4.0.
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.
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 the temperature of the kiln.
We are actively exploring the potential of CCUS, with over 50 projects ongoing around the world. Our projects range from recycling CO2 from our plants into low-emission raw materials for our cement, all the way to using it as a greenhouse gas for farming or as a source of methanol for aviation fuel.
CCUS technologies are integral for the decarbonization of the built environment, and we are involved with projects all over the world. In 2022 we received strong support for this approach from the European Innovation Fund, which awarded us two grants for CCUS projects in Poland and Germany.