HeidelbergCement published its Sustainability Report 2017, which focuses on targets, measures and achievements of the company’s sustainability management for the business year 2017. The report highlights the successes and aims of corporate sustainability management, as well as the HeidelbergCement’s activities in the arena of environmental protection, employees, workplace safety and social responsibility.
“For us, sustainable corporate governance means constantly reconciling our profit targets with the need to safeguard our future viability. Our sustainability strategy focuses on local responsibility – toward our employees and our neighbors as well as toward the environment, at more than 3,000 locations in around 60 countries worldwide,” said Dr. Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the managing board. “With this report, we offer transparency about our objectives and our efforts in the field of sustainability – making them accessible to our stakeholders.”
Dr. Scheifele continued, "In 2017, we published our Sustainability Commitments 2030, which define the key topics and principles of our sustainability strategy. We focus on the six areas of economic strength and innovation, occupational health and safety, ecological footprint, circular economy, relationships with our neighbours, and compliance with legal standards and transparency."
Occupational health and safety has top priority at HeidelbergCement and is an integral part of its key corporate values. Compared with 2016, the company decreased the accident frequency rate in its core business by 21 percent in 2017.
“This represents a significant improvement. A large number of locations has now been accident-free for several years, while others have seen drastically reduced accident rates. Nevertheless, serious accidents still occurred in 2017. We will therefore further intensify our efforts to prevent accidents on a permanent basis,” said Dr. Scheifele.
HeidelbergCement has also made a commitment to accept its share of the worldwide responsibility to limit the global rise in temperature to below 2 C. By 2030, the company wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent compared with 1990 levels. External verification has confirmed that the goal is consistent with the roadmap defined for the industry by the International Energy Agency (IEA). By 2017, HeidelbergCement had already achieved a reduction of 19 percent.
To further reduce its CO2 emissions, the company aims to continually increase the proportion of alternative raw materials and fuels and, wherever possible, make its production processes even more efficient. In addition, HeidelbergCement invests heavily in research programs on carbon capture and its utilization as a raw material. In 2017, the company spent €141 million on research and technology – around €24 million more than in the previous year.
"HeidelbergCement is globally well positioned for sustainable and profitable growth. Our strategy is clear: to achieve continuous growth, create long-term value for our shareholders, and safeguard high-quality jobs. We must operate on a sustainable basis to remain viable for the future," concluded Dr. Scheifele.