The commitment to safeguarding water is an integral part of our sustainability strategy. We recognize access to water and sanitation as a human right and promote initiatives to reduce the risk of water supply, especially in the most vulnerable areas.
Water is the key element for the survival of our communities and ecosystems. Water supply is essential for any industry, including our sector, as well as for agriculture and energy production. At the same time climate change is increasing the frequency and impact of water crises. Water availability and its safeguarding are therefore crucial for sustainable development and for our sustainability strategy.
Sustainable water management is our duty considering the different environmental and social context of the countries where we operate. High water stress and areas of potential depletion need priority intervention in our water improvement path as a part of our climate change strategy.
All group production plants are equipped with systems and procedures to monitor consumption and wastewater. In our cement production processes, which accounts about 75% of the whole Group water consumption, water is used principally for cooling equipment, reducing the temperature of the gases exiting the kilns, de-dusting and cleaning activities. In wet and semi-wet processes, the consumption is higher due to water vaporization during the production phases. In ready-mix concrete production, water is instead used as raw material.
Cementir commitment for a more sustainable water management
We believe that the management framework most consistent with our sustainability strategy for a responsible use of water is the implementation and maintenance of an environmental management systems compliant with the ISO 14001 standard. More than 70% of our water consumption occurs within ISO 14001 certified industrial sites.
- Water supply is considered in the risk / opportunity assessment of our activities. We carry out regular monitoring of water risk considering the location of our assets and local specific stress conditions.
- We promote efficient water management practices, through, but not limited to, recycling / reusing, minimization of freshwater withdrawals, containment of wastewater discharges, minimization of water losses, use of alternative water resources, development of sustainable products also by leveraging circularity. Such initiatives are even more important at cement production sites located in areas of high water stress according to the World Resources Institute's “Aqueduct” risk map.
- We adopt a system for the monitoring, control and periodic progress reporting in each site in achieving the objectives according to internationally recognized indicators.
- We develop a constructive collaboration relationship, based on maximum openness and trust, towards local communities and institutions because we believe in sharing the challenges for water conservation as a common resource.
- We encourage employees and third parties along the supply chain to develop and demonstrate responsible behavior toward sustainable water use and safeguarding.
- We ensure compliance with all applicable local, regional, national and international legislation.
WATER RISK INDICATORS
Aqueduct's water risk indicators map water hazards such as floods, drought and stress, using open-source data. The indicators have been developed using long-term hydrological modeling and are periodically updated.
Water stress measures the ratio between the total water withdrawals and the available surface and underground renewable reserves (stocks) in a specific geographical area. Withdrawals include domestic, industrial and agricultural uses, consumed and not consumed.
Higher values of the indicator indicate greater competition between users and therefore greater stress.
The areas with high water stress risk are those with values higher than 40%.
About 75% of the Group's total water withdrawals relate to cement production (4,455 thousand m3). In 2021 we reused or recycled 32.6% of the water withdrawn. 34.4% of water consumption occurred in cement plants located in areas subject to high water stress.
By 2030, the Group will reduce water consumption per ton of cement by 20% compared to 2019. In areas with high water stress, which already have specific consumption lower than the Group average, the goal is to reduce water consumption per ton of cement by 25%.
|Improvement path in cement||Unit||2019||2020||2021||2030|
|Specific water consumption||Liters/ton cement||480||445||413||384|
|Reduction compared to 2019||-7%||-14%||-20%|
|Specific water consumption - high water stress areas||Liters/ton cement||280||287||276||210|
|Reduction compared to 2019||0%||-1.5%||-25%|
In 2021, on its first application, Cementir achieved a ‘B’ rating from CDP on Water Security resources management transparency questionnaire.
CDP regularly assesses how transparently companies report on their water management activities and how they reduce risks.
In the Clypot quarry, in Belgium, located in an area with high water stress, we entered into a contract with the local authority to recover the quarry water and redirect it into the public distribution network, after its potabilization. The wastewater treatment process involves both the elimination of solid parts and unwanted chemical elements such as iron or manganese and specific controls to ensure their bacteriological quality.
In 2021, over one million m3 of quarry water was transferred to the public water network for its purification.
The goal is to make available nearly two million m3 of quarry water to the Neufvilles treatment plant of SWDE, active in the production and distribution of water, which will supply nearly 20,000 Walloon households. Through this recovery process, SWDE will reduce its pumping from its production wells, with less use of the local Senne-Senette hydrogeological basin.