Votorantim Cimentos, a building materials and sustainable solutions company, has revised its decarbonization targets to 475 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement by 2030. Votorantim Cimentos’ new global target is 8.7% lower than the target of 520 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement, previously announced as part of its 2030 Sustainability Commitments.
The new scope 1 target, which refers to CO2 emissions generated directly by company operations, was approved by the SBTi (Science Based Target initiative) and represents a reduction of 24.8% compared to base year 2018. SBTi is an initiative that encourages the private sector and financial institutions to take action against the effects of climate change. The organization grew out of a partnership among several institutions that evaluate and validate science-based emission reduction targets proposed by companies in pursuit of more ambitious targets.
Through this new public commitment, Votorantim Cimentos is aligning its emission reduction targets with the ambition of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, while also pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The fight against the negative effects of climate change is at the heart of our strategy and reflects our focus on competitiveness and on creating a positive legacy. The most competitive businesses will be those with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. After all, the environmental crisis is also an economic and social crisis. The validation of our new target by SBTi reinforces our commitment and continuous efforts toward the net-zero agenda,” said Álvaro Lorenz, global director of Sustainability, Institutional Relations, Product Development and Engineering at Votorantim Cimentos.
Between 1990 and 2021, Votorantim Cimentos reduced its CO2 emissions per tonne of cement produced by more than 20%. Votorantim Cimentos’ decarbonization strategy is based on four main pillars:
- Co-processing: Substitution of fossil fuels used in cement production kilns for other materials, especially biomass and waste. Co-processing is an environmentally safe solution for solid waste management. This is a technology used in several countries around the world to ensure proper treatment and disposal of different types of waste.
- Use of cementitious materials: Clinker, a noble material produced through the calcination of limestone and other raw materials at high temperatures, is the main source of CO2 emissions in the cement production process. By replacing clinker with by-products from other industries (including steel slag and ash from thermoelectric plants, in addition to other cementitious materials, such as calcined clay, natural pozzolans and other materials), it is possible to promote a circular economy and reduce the environmental footprint of cement.
- Energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources: Votorantim Cimentos has its own hydropower plants and has been making significant investments in solar and wind energy.
- Development of new technologies: Use of innovative processes and new materials, dematerialization of the value chain, and partnerships with various entities and academia to increasingly optimize resources and reduce carbon intensity.