Climate – Acting to cap the carbon footprint across the lifecycle

Holcim has a continuing commitment to a wide variety of measures to mitigate its CO2 emissions, such as improving the energy efficiency of its own operations and substituting fossil fuels for lower-carbon alternatives. Holcim has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions per tonne of cement by 25 percent by 2015, in comparison with the reference year of 1990, and is on track to meet this target. Holcim currently leads the sector with the lowest CO2 emissions per tonne of cement. Details of 2014 emissions will be reported on in mid-2015.

But the global climate challenge requires an altogether more collaborative and far-reaching response.

As a responsible company, Holcim’s approach to sustainability must reach beyond its own business and encompass its entire value chain. Throughout the building lifecycle, there is great potential for carbon reduction, so instead of focusing on just its own operations, Holcim recognizes its responsibility to make all the elements in its value chain more sustainable.

Therefore, by 2030 Holcim aspires to maintain net absolute CO2 emissions at 2013 levels throughout the entire lifecycle of its products. This will require that Holcim caps its carbon footprint, regardless of the expected growth in the volume of cement produced. It acknowledges that any increases in emissions from operations will be offset or compensated through products, services, and solutions that reduce emissions from buildings, infrastructure, and transportation. By doing so, Holcim adopts a pioneering approach in the industry, becoming the first to not only monitor and account for CO2 savings beyond its own operations but also to set a target on absolute emissions.

An important element in this is to support the growing trend towards transparency and to facilitate informed choices by customers and specifiers. Holcim uses a range of tools to deliver transparent information to customers. Examples are the Product Carbon Footprint tool, which enables tracking of emissions embedded in products, and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which provide transparency in several environmental impact categories.