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Cemex Meets Goals for Alternative Fuels, Raw Material Substitution Ahead of Schedule

Cemex has cut CO2 emissions per ton of cement produced by 20.7 percent relative to its 1990 baseline and is on track to meet its 25 percent reduction target by 2015, according to the company’s 2009 Sustainable Development Report.

Climate change initiatives implemented by Cemex have resulted in the prevention of 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, which is equivalent to emissions from about 290,000 passenger vehicles in one year.

Here are some environmental highlights from the report.

Cemex also has increased the use of alternative fuels from 10.3 percent in 2008 to 16.4 percent of its cement plants’ total energy consumption in 2009, exceeding its 15 percent target for 2015. This saved the equivalent of one million tons of coal and avoided 1.2 million tons of CO2 emissions.

The cement maker has more than tripled its use of alternative fuels since 2005 and confirms its targeted substitution rate of 23 percent by 2020.

In 2009, Cemex also achieved a 12.2 percent raw material substitution rate in its clinker production — an important component of cement production — with byproducts from steel and coal power generating plants, reducing the use of conventional raw materials processed by its kilns. The company exceeded its 12 percent target by 2015 ahead of time, and confirms its target of a 15 percent substitution rate by 2020.

In the area of renewable energy, Cemex completed the EURUS wind farm project, which supplies 25 percent of the company’s power requirements in Mexico.

The company’s Center for Technology and Innovation in Switzerland is developing more energy-efficient building materials for use in sustainable construction.

Another project, funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy,  will test the commercial application of CO2 capture using solid sorbent technologies and geological storage at one of Cemex’s cement plants.

In 2009, Cemex designed the first phase of a global water assessment project to establish a baseline of its water use and impacts. The project will help the company develop management standards and operating guidelines for water efficiency.

The company’s first estimates on water consumption for its cement and ready-mix concrete operations show they use 292 liters per ton of cement, and 214 liters per cubic meter of ready-mix concrete. As of the end of 2009, 79 percent of its operations have water-recycling systems in place.

The company also disclosed for the first time metrics related to hazardous and non-hazardous waste. In 2009, the company disposed of 53,342 tons of hazardous waste and 713,937 tons of non-hazardous waste.

Some of the company’s new goals include producing 50 percent of clinker with continuous monitoring of major emissions (dust, NOx and SOx) by 2010 and 100 percent by 2015, and implementing quarry rehabilitation plans in 82 percent of active sites by 2010 and 100 percent by 2015.

The company also plans to reduce specific emissions per ton of clinker by 2015, using 2005 as the baseline, by the following percentages: 50 percent for dust to 155 gr/ton clinker, 15 percent for NOx to 1,667 gr/ton clinker and 10 percent for SOx to 519 gr/ton clinker.

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