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Cement industry saves over a million tonnes of raw materials

The UK cement industry used more than one million tonnes of waste as replacement for conventional raw materials and fossil fuels in 2005.

As well as this, it has cut annual emissions of carbon dioxide by over two million tonnes in the last eight years – an 18% improvement, with these facts recorded in the latest performance report produced by the British Cement Association (BCA).

It highlights further progress in the industry’s contribution to the UK sustainable development agenda, with the cement industry consuming more than 10 times the amount of waste it disposes of.

BCA chief executive Mike Gilbert said: “The environment and reducing our impact on it has been a key focus for the industry for many years. I am pleased with the progress we have made, but even more excited by what’s to come.

“The cement process is uniquely placed to make use of such wastes as fuel and raw materials and is therefore doing its bit to move the nation towards greater sustainability.”

The reduction was achieved through replacing traditional fossil fuels with more sustainable- usually waste derived – alternatives, blending cement-like materials with traditional cement, using alternative raw materials and other significant investment by BCA members.

Gilbert added: “We crystallised this potential last year when we published our sustainability agenda. It is our goal to adopt the practices set out in that agenda so that by 2010 we will be seen as leading the way in sustainability.”

The UK cement manufacturers have a Climate Change Levy agreement with Government to deliver an overall energy efficiency improvement across their sector of 26.8% by 2010 against a base year of 1990.

It has already achieved a 25% improvement in energy efficiency. The use of fossil fuels has decreased by almost 23% per tonne of cement produced since 1998, while on the same basis; the use of raw materials has dropped by 2.5%.

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