HeidelbergCement was awarded the German Innovation Award for Climate and Environment (IKU) in the category “Process Innovations for Climate Protection” for its innovative ReConcrete-360° concept. In ReConcrete-360°, demolished concrete is crushed using novel processes and selectively separated into its components: in addition to sand and gravel, hardened cement paste is also obtained in this way. This can be reused as a valuable, low-carbon raw material in clinker and cement production, where it can replace natural limestone – keeping with the principles of the circular economy. In addition, the hardened cement paste can absorb CO2, bind it permanently and thus act as a carbon sink.
Dr. Dominik von Achten, Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement, said: “Projects like ReConcrete-360° show what it means to re-think the circular economy – congratulations to our innovation and sustainability team!”
Dr. Nicola Kimm, Member of the Managing Board and Chief Sustainability Officer of HeidelbergCement, said: “The IKU award shows that our research is making an important contribution to sustainable construction and thus to climate protection. Our ReConcrete-360° concept proves that concrete has the potential to be the most sustainable building product over its entire life cycle from production to recycling.”
Dr. Wolfgang Dienemann, Director Global R&D, said: ”With ReConcrete-360°, we have succeeded in developing a limestone substitute from demolished concrete that also allows us to use the carbon-containing exhaust gases from cement production. A small revolution with a big impact: In Germany alone, the CO2 savings potential through this process is ten million tonnes per year. The IKU award underlines that we can be proud of our pioneering innovation.”
The IKU is awarded this year by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and honours outstanding environmental innovations by German companies and research institutions. A high-level jury chaired by Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, Director at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), selected the winners in six categories. The jury’s decision was based on the scientific evaluation by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI. The IKU is funded by the National Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action. The prize money in each category is €25,000. In addition to HeidelbergCement, the company Grundfos GmbH also received an award in the category “Process innovations for climate protection” this year.