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Cemex UK reports great strides to excellence in its Sustainable Development Update

18 Jan 12 Building materials company, Cemex UK has compiled its Sustainable Development Update, an interim report updating its environmental, economic and social performance during 2010.

The report indicates great strides in areas of major importance to the company’s stakeholders including a 49% reduction in waste to landfill, 35% improvement in environmental incidents, use of alternative fuels up 7% and a reduction from 19 to 6 in lost time injuries.

The 2010 update builds on the previous Sustainable Development Report in 2009 and is in line with the company’s corporate reporting framework.  It outlines performance and targets for a number of key sustainability principles including those relating to climate change legislation.  

A key element in shaping both the format and content of the report was the involvement of an independent organization, The Vivian Partnership, to analyse what our stakeholders, local communities, customers, suppliers, employees, regulators and non-governmental organisations felt was important to them to know about Cemex UK.  

Ben Vivian, Vivian Partnership Limited "We undertook an online and face-to-face engagement exercise in the Spring of 2011 with stakeholders from all parts of society. The findings have been used by Cemex UK to adjust sustainable development reporting and communication methods.

“It is increasingly important for companies to move from a 'transmit' to a more engaged mode of communication which listens and reacts to what it hears. In this way a much higher level of authenticity and resonance is achieved in reporting."

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A major achievement was the increased use of alternative waste derived fuels, up by 7%, for heating the cement kilns, resulting in a saving of nearly 194,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted. This saving equated to replacement of 52% traditional fossil fuels by alternative fuels such as Climafuel, which is made from household waste. This compares well with the average for the cement sector of 38%.

In addition to the increased use of fuels derived from waste, process wastes, that are produced as part of the operation and destined for disposal were dramatically reduced due to a number of business initiatives. These include recycling opportunities which have been progressed for kiln dusts in our cement business, introduction of waste minimization measures and vehicle wash waste management in our readymix business.

The substantial reduction in LTI’s (lost time injuries) from 19 to 6 incidents (63%) was influenced by the ongoing programme of health and safety management training, which includes a series of Leadership Workshops that build on Visible Felt Leadership (VFL) techniques. The programme encourages senior management, supervisors and managers to look at all aspects of health and safety on the sites and colleagues for whom they are responsible. In 2010 managers and supervisors across the operations made 4953 VFL site visits.

In addition, there was improved engagement by the workforce in health and safety issues with each employee receiving 24hours worth of safety training.

One of the major events during the year was the announcement by Cemex UK and RSPB of the launch of the Biodiversity Strategy, with a commitment to challenging targets including the creation and maintenance of 1,000 hectares of priority habitats by 2020.  The Update includes information on the progress against targets set in the Strategy.

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