We address environmental and climate change issues by reducing CO₂ emissions, energy consumption, water withdrawal and preserving natural habitats and their biodiversity in the areas surrounding our plants.
The extraction of raw materials - the first step in cement and aggregates production - has an inevitably impact on the surrounding natural and social environment: the removal of soil and changes in topography of the area may affect local ecosystems and watersheds.
Minimising environmental impact is therefore a fundamental priority for Cementir to be able to have sustainable operation.
The Group extracts a significant part of its raw materials need from own controlled resources (quarries) by embracing responsible and sustainable mining principles for its quarrying operations.
Impacts can be successfully addressed and mitigated through the development and implementation of an effective quarry Rehabilitation Plan and Biodiversity Management Plan, especially in areas of high biodiversity.
In line with Cementir’s commitments in 2022 a Group Rehabilitation and Biodiversity Guideline, in accordance with industry standards and aligned with the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) sustainability guidelines, was issued to provide guidance for developing and implementing biodiversity and rehabilitation plans at quarry/pit sites.
- We will have Rehabilitation Plans for all active sites.
- We will have biodiversity enhancement recommendations to be integrated as part of Environmental Impact Assessments or Rehabilitation Plans for any new extraction site.
- We aim to assess all extraction sites and identify the sites having high biodiversity value.
- We aim to have Biodiversity Management Plan for all high biodiversity value sites.
- Rehabilitation plan in all active sites by 2025: 100%.
- Biodiversity value assessment of active sites by 2030: 100%.
- Biodiversity value assessment of all sites and Biodiversity Management Plan for high biodiversity sites by 2030: 100%.
Quarrying activity management
Before deciding to acquire and open any new quarry, all safety aspects, including impacts on the environment, flora and fauna and water resources are carefully analyzed and planned. We also always evaluate any social impacts and land recovery plans once the quarry is depleted.
Our goal is always to minimize or eliminate any potential negative impact that may occur as a result of quarrying activities, but we also work to increase potential positive impacts where possible.
Part of our work also falls into risk management: we analyze environmental risks to ensure compliance with current regulations and the best environmental standards and Best Available Technique (BAT) and we coordinate so that all the Group's businesses operate with an environmental management system certificate.
With our quarrying activities we link and prioritize three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through the following actions:
Quarry rehabilitation plan
The plans define the goal and timing for the reintegration of a quarry into the surrounding landscape. The rehabilitation processes begin when the quarry is still in operation, reclaiming the areas that are no longer used.
There are several rehabilitation projects that we carry out with particular attention to respecting and restoring biodiversity, such as in Belgium, where we participate in the Life in Quarries initiative, a project funded by the European Commission precisely to develop biodiversity while the quarry is still being extracted.
Biodiversity management plan
We understand the importance of quarries for biodiversity and for nature conservation. A key priority is to protect and preserve the ecosystems and to contribute to reduce biodiversity loss during the lifecycle of a quarry through good land stewardship, proper planning of quarry activities and rehabilitation process.
We target to develop a biodiversity management plan for all sites sensitive to biodiversity and with high biodiversity value to maintain or improve biodiversity values during the operational and post-closure phases, and to determine risks and opportunities before mining begins.
To achieve this we work in partnership with local stakeholders and external experts.
Projects for quarries rehabilitation, respect for biodiversity, but also for the recovery of excess heat for district heating