Sustainable development of a country is economic development without compromising the social and natural resources of future generations. The cement industry has a large ecological footprint in terms of resources used, such as sand and limestone, fuels, and electricity, resulting in the industry to be, after the power generation, the second largest carbon dioxide emission producing industry. Our cognisance of this has led to members implementing best practices to effect positive change in reducing industry impacts and greenhouse gas emissions long before regulation requiring the industry to respond to climate change were published.
Sustainable development does however not have an end goal, but is rather an ever changing vision of what the ACMP and our members can do to continuously improve operations. Improvements pursued by the ACMP are to continuously reduce the impacts the cement industry has per tonne of product manufactured, to support to the development of South Africa by producing cementitious products that contribute to the country’s carbon emission reduction initiatives, and by providing a sustainable environment for our future generations.
We take heed that reduced quality of the natural environment will impact negatively on society, therefore we are taking action to monitor our impacts and to identify the areas of concern to enable proactive action where the need is greatest. These sustainability matters in the cement industry are addressed through various projects and activities steered by committees established within the ACMP. These matters mainly revolve around the environment, health and safety, and social issues. The committees tasked with addressing these issues are:
Sustainability Development Committee (addressing Environmental matters and secondary materials. During the reporting period emphasis was placed on the sustainability committee due to extensive demand related to scope of environmental law reform undertaken by Government
- Health and Safety Committee;
- Cement, Lime, Aggregates and Sand Committee;
- Logistics Committee.
ACMP Commitments to Codes, Standards, and Associations
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative:
The ACMP is an active communication partner for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (WBCSD-CSI). Globally, this initiative promotes the sustainability goals and interests of the cement industry. Three of our member companies, through their international holding companies, are signatories to this initiative.
International: United Nations Global Compact (UNGC):
Environmental, social, and governance risk are becoming increasingly more complex; as is the management of opportunities in these areas. The Global Compact exists to provide assistance to the private sector in dealing with these issues. Businesses committed to aligning operations and strategies to ten internationally accepted principles in human rights, labour, environment and anticorruption can do so by becoming voluntary signatories to this strategic policy initiative by the UNGC.
National: The Energy Efficiency Leadership Network (EELN):
The Energy Efficiency Leadership Network facilitates improvements in energy efficiency in South Africa.
Energy Efficiency Accord was a voluntary initiative which was developed between South African business and the Government in recognition of the need to improve thermal and electrical energy efficiency. The Department of Energy and the industry signatories collectively agree to collaborate to establish a mutually beneficial framework for voluntary energy efficiency initiatives that will move the country towards its goals of attracting investment in mitigation and adaptation projects and efficient energy use.
The Energy Efficiency Accord committed businesses to “cooperate to pursue the national energy efficiency targets on a voluntary basis, recognising that energy usage is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa. They also agree to collaborate on initiatives that could result in CDM projects. The target, set in terms of the Energy Efficiency Strategy of the Republic of South Africa, of a national final energy demand reduction of 12% by 2015, expressed as a percentage reduction against the projected national energy use in 2015, with a final energy demand reduction target for the industry and mining sector as a whole of 15% by 2015.”
The ACMP became a voluntary signatory to the Accord in 2005. Two of our members, AfriSam and PPC, are also signatories in their own right and have therefore committed to the above target. The ACMP addresses energy efficiency issues through projects managed by the Environmental Committee.
In support of Government policy and strategy to increase international competitiveness and GHG emission reduction, the main objective of the EELN is tocontinuously drive energy efficiency improvements in the South African business sector.
The EELN engages the private sector into the National Energy Efficiency Strategy and its signatories voluntarily pledge to:
- develop a road map for improved energy efficiency, supported by the implementation of an energy management system;
- develop appropriate internal energy efficiency targets appropriate to company operations and also respond to government policy and strategy;
- publicly report on progress towards energy efficiency targets and energy intensity of operations.
The ACMP represents its members at the Energy Efficiency Leadership Network (comprising of 58 companies) and disseminates relevant information back to our members. Energy efficiency is a key component of our industry sustainability measures and is instrumental in reducing plant operational costs.
Through participation in network activities, EELN members benefit in the following ways:
- Improved competitiveness through the effective management of energy;
- Access to best practice, technical expertise and the experience of others to assist in developing and implementing energy efficiency programmes;
- Public recognition of activities and the leadership role they are playing relating to Energy Efficiency improvements;
- Improved understanding of the role energy efficiency can play in reducing emissions;
- Reduction of energy cost and contribution to energy security and energy diversification;
- Improved understanding of how employees can be motivated to save energy;
- Developing capacity to develop and implement information systems to support energy management.
The ACMP members use various forums to report on the different aspects of their performance. These forums include, the Carbon Disclosure Project, the JSE SRI and government departments. The Association also supports the mining charters and promotes the members to provide information to the indicators of the mining charter.
The Executive Director of the ACMP is a representative of its members on the following:
- Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) environmental subcommittee;
- Chamber of mines: occupational health and safety;
- Project Steering Committee of the Energy Efficiency Leadership Network of the NBI (National Business Initiative);
- CLAS (Cement, lime, aggregate and Sand) committee of the MQA (Mines qualifications Authority).