NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Y BIODIVERSITY
We are constantly incorporating new and different sustainable development initiatives that manage to minimise the environmental impact of our activity
Optimising natural resources, reducing emissions into the atmosphere and energy efficiency are priority objectives for the cement industry.
Responsible Water Management
Access to sufficient quantities of clean water is increasingly becoming an urgent global cause for concern. We are well aware of this in the cement industry and we manage this resource in a comprehensive and responsible way, seeking to increase efficiency in water use through saving and recycling.
Electricity production has a major impact on the environment and is another one of the cement industry’s main consumptions. It can account for up to 30% of the variable costs. To reduce electricity consumption, more efficient equipment is installed and electricity is used at times of the day when demand is low, which helps to reduce the adverse effects on production and distribution.
Ongoing Improvement in Emission Management
In the project IMAGEN, Oficemen prepares “Inventories on the Environment and National Sectoral Statistical Management”, in order to be able to have available an idea about updated and real public information about the environment and to develop tools, with the acceptance of the Public Authorities, with a view to standardising the methodology criteria for measurement and atmospheric emission factors in the sector.
The “Guide to Measurement Methods and Emission Factors for the Cement Sector in Spain” contains its own emission factors for the cement sector calculated from measurements taken by the sector itself at the cement kilns, taking into account the reality of the Spanish cement industry from both technological and environmental perspectives.
Biodiversity: one of the greatest global challenges for the environment
Cement is a natural product and its manufacture requires the utilisation of materials that are extracted from the ground mainly in mine workings, quarries and gravel pits, located close to the cement plants.
Apart from the fact that there is a legal requirement to restore mine workings, etc., the whole sector’s firm committed to biodiversity has enabled it to enhance these recovered environments, taking initiatives to improve the natural environment while at the same time, for example, creating habitats for species of interest, eradicating invasive species and reintroducing autochthonous plants of great ecological value. This has been done by making major investments and developing joint management systems, with the collaboration of universities, institutions and Public Authorities, conservationist associations, NGOs or residents’ associations, amongst others.
The benefits obtained from such activities are thus manifold. They range from flood control, climate change regulation or the proliferation of pollinating insects that are beneficial to agriculture and wild flora. Furthermore, many of these restoration and reclamation projects also improve their service to the community, and involve setting up environmental training and awareness centres. Sometimes, they even adapt certain zones for leisure and sports activities.