The road to climate neutrality will involve the cement industry having to reduce its CO2 emissions to an unprecedented extent. “What we urgently need now to continue on our chosen path towards achieving climate-neutral cement production are appropriate and reliable framework conditions”, stresses Christian Knell, President of the German Cement Works Association (VDZ). This applies in particular to the further development of renewable energies and power grids as well as the creation of a functioning CO2 infrastructure. “The often bureaucratic and complex processes involved in approval procedures and applications for funds to finance necessary investments are however a cause for concern”, says Knell. This makes it all the more important for civil society, policy-makers, scientists and economists to pull together to find solutions which are, in particular, suitable for short-term implementation
Considerations in the fields of politics and economics, as well as in society in general, are increasingly focusing on the preservation of resources in addition to a reduction in greenhouse gases. “In this context, climate protection and a responsible attitude towards raw materials go hand in hand”, explains VDZ President Christian Knell. The German cement industry has always made extensive use of industrial by-products and alternative fuels as a substitute for fossil energy sources – and will continue to do so in the future as well.
Together with the industry, VDZ is also conducting research into further possible ways of preserving resources, for instance through the use of fine materials from recycled broken concrete/bricks as main cement constituents or through the recycling of hardened cement paste. In keeping with the CO2 road map (https://vdz.info/decarbonisation) published in 2020, VDZ is intending to present a resource study outlining the reduction potential available along the entire value chain by the end of 2021.
“Despite all our efforts we will however not be able to achieve resource neutrality”, the VDZ President points out. “We will still have to make use of natural resources, albeit to a far lesser extent. So a reliable supply of primary raw materials will continue to remain essential”.
As in the past, the “Environmental data of the German cement industry 2020” presented by VDZ provides detailed and transparent information on the use of raw materials and energy, as well as on the emissions produced by German cement manufacturers (e.g. carbon dioxide, organic emissions, nitrogen oxides). The publication also describes the efforts made by the industry in recent years with a view to protecting the environment. Between 2017 and 2019 alone the German cement manufacturers invested more than 800 million euros in machinery to satisfy the requirements of air pollution control, climate protection and the preservation of resources.
You can download the publication “Environmental Data of the German Cement Industry 2020” here: vdz.info/uwd2020
VDZ was founded in 1877. In our capacity as a joint organisation of the German cement manufacturers, we have been actively promoting environmentally compatible cement production and high-quality concrete construction for more than 140 years. As an international centre of research and expertise in the field of cement and concrete, VDZ has acquired a worldwide reputation and respect for its practical research work and comprehensive range of services throughout the entire value chain
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