Cement manufacturing is a high volume process, with large quantities of substances turned into commercial products, in the process consuming non-renewable resources and energy. It is one of the most material and energy-intensive industrial processes, as well as being CO2 emissions-intensive. The latter is due in large part to the production of clinker, the key component in cement. Over the last decades, the European cement industry has applied a variety of solutions for improving environmental performance and cost competitiveness. The co-processing of alternative raw materials and fuels, in particular, has played a pivotal role, producing a triple win: emissions reductions, decreases in the extraction of natural resources and fossil fuels, and enhancement of waste management operations. This paper outlines characteristics of the European cement industry, in order to pinpoint trends and performance improvements, and to assess the suitability of sustainability routes adopted and programmes launched. Finally, the paper compares the experiences of the industry in Italy and Germany, the two most important European manufacturers of cement, evaluating their different industrial approaches with regard to the use of alternative raw materials and fuels and improvements in resource efficiency. Results indicate the need for a collaborative approach between the business community, policy makers, and institutions, in order to embrace sustainability as a business imperative, adopting models that facilitate systemic change towards circular economy goals.

Sustainability in the EU cement industry: The italian and German experiences

Supino S;
2016

Abstract

Cement manufacturing is a high volume process, with large quantities of substances turned into commercial products, in the process consuming non-renewable resources and energy. It is one of the most material and energy-intensive industrial processes, as well as being CO2 emissions-intensive. The latter is due in large part to the production of clinker, the key component in cement. Over the last decades, the European cement industry has applied a variety of solutions for improving environmental performance and cost competitiveness. The co-processing of alternative raw materials and fuels, in particular, has played a pivotal role, producing a triple win: emissions reductions, decreases in the extraction of natural resources and fossil fuels, and enhancement of waste management operations. This paper outlines characteristics of the European cement industry, in order to pinpoint trends and performance improvements, and to assess the suitability of sustainability routes adopted and programmes launched. Finally, the paper compares the experiences of the industry in Italy and Germany, the two most important European manufacturers of cement, evaluating their different industrial approaches with regard to the use of alternative raw materials and fuels and improvements in resource efficiency. Results indicate the need for a collaborative approach between the business community, policy makers, and institutions, in order to embrace sustainability as a business imperative, adopting models that facilitate systemic change towards circular economy goals.
Alternative resources; Environmental sustainability; European cement industry
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12078/782
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