Votorantim Cimentos, a building materials and sustainable solutions company, ended 2022 with positive results in its decarbonisation journey. Globally, the company emitted 579 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement produced, a 3% reduction compared to 2021. Between 1990 and 2022, Votorantim Cimentos reduced its CO2 emissions per tonne of cement produced by 24%.
In 2022, Votorantim Cimentos’ thermal substitution rate through co-processing was 26.5%, reflecting the increased use of alternative fuels (mainly waste and biomass) to replace fossil fuel in cement production kilns. In 2021, the company had a 22.4% thermal substitution rate and the goal for 2030 is to reach 53%.
The rate of substitution of clinker, the main source of CO2 emissions in cement production, went from 74.9% in 2021 to 73.9% in 2022. The goal for 2030 is to reach a clinker factor of 68% by exploring increasingly more alternatives in the circular economy.
“Fighting the negative effects of climate change is at the heart of our strategy and aligns with our focus on competitiveness and on creating a positive legacy for society. We continue to work to optimize our product portfolio, explore opportunities in the circular economy and develop new technologies. The improvement in our performance in 2022 reinforce our commitment and ongoing efforts to support the carbon neutral agenda,” said Álvaro Lorenz, global director of Sustainability, Institutional Relations, Product Development, Engineering and Energy at Votorantim Cimentos.
Decarbonisation journey – Votorantim Cimentos’ decarbonisation strategy is based on four main pillars: co-processing (the substitution of fossil fuels used in cement production kilns for other materials, especially biomass and waste); the use of cementitious materials, including by-products from other industries, to replace clinker (the main source of CO2 emissions in the cement production process); energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, leveraging company-owned hydroelectric power plants and investments in solar and wind energy; and the development of technologies (use of innovative processes, new materials, carbon capture, use and storage, dematerialization of the value chain, partnerships with various businesses and academic organizations to increasingly optimize resources and reduce carbon intensity).
In December 2022, Votorantim Cimentos announced a new decarbonisation target for 2030, approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), of 475 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement. The new target is 8.7% lower than the target announced as part of its 2030 Sustainability Commitments, (520 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement).
In 2022, Votorantim Cimentos was recognized by CDP as one of the best evaluated companies in the 2022 Climate Change Program. With a score of “A-“, for the fifth consecutive year, the company was the best evaluated company in Brazil and one of the four best cement companies in the world. CDP, an international non-profit organization, is a benchmark in the evaluation of sustainable approaches that contribute to the fight against climate change. The annual scores, ranging from D to A, reflect the level of climate management of companies based on a transparent methodology that includes disclosure, awareness, management and leadership.
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More information on Votorantim Cimentos’ decarbonisation strategy and progress in the ESG agenda can be found in the Integrated Report 2022, available at votorantimcimentos.com/integrated-report.
Photo, courtesy of Votorantim: Votorantim Cimentos plant in Rio Branco do Sul – Paraná – The largest cement plant in Latin America