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Cementing a Sustainably Progressive Strategy

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Dr Arvind Bodhankar, Executive Director, ESG & CRO, Dalmia Bharat, discusses methods to tackle energy efficiency problems with an improved ESG strategy, new technologies and latest innovations.

Driving the circular economy as a leading cement manufacturer in the country involves being committed towards environmental sustainability. By ensuring a low-carbon transition, it is possible to envision a future that is not just green and livable for people today but for generations to come. We need to keep in mind that cement is the second largest material consumed on our planet after water and producing it means utilising a lot of natural resources. Therefore, as responsible cement manufacturers, we need to tackle these problems by embedding our ESG strategy within our corporate framework and collaboratively working with new technologies, the latest innovations and, more importantly, partnering with policy-related enablers.

Impact of Governmental Infrastructure Spending
The Government of India’s spend on infrastructure is already providing a necessary stimulus to the cement industry. A key example would be the government’s Gatishakti project with a commitment to 1.4 crores housing under the affordable housing scheme for which a spend Rs 1.47 lakh crore is expected on infrastructure. This will require a significant amount of cement, which will result in the Indian cement sector as well the nation reaching new heights. But before we get to that level, it is important to address the challenges being faced by the cement industry in India.

Reducing Climate Risk Through Collaborative Efforts
The cement industry affects climate change as it contributes seven to eight per cent to the global carbon pool. To curtail this, stakeholders that include members of the United Nations Principal of Responsible Investment and such have begun to reach out to cement industry players across the globe to come up with solutions to cut down on CO2 emissions to see investments flow in.

While some corporations are just beginning to look for solutions others such as us, Dalmia Bharat are leading the pack with commitments that encourage the circular economy. Global visionaries, such as our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have also stated that India will become a carbonneutral country by 2070 and is committed to 520 GW of renewable energy by 2030. This has helped ease new policies as far as renewable energy is concerned and enabled sector leaders such as us to stay the course to meet our goal of becoming carbon negative by 2040.

While some may see this a stretched target, the right technology implementation has already helped us achieve nearly 43 per cent reduction in carbon footprints from the 1990 baseline enabling us to surpass the target we set for ourselves for 2025. And by collaborating with government and nongovernmental organisations on policy and public advocacy we can keep track of climate change emerging risks, work closely with leadership as well as the operations team to develop the mitigation plan and track its implementation. By 2030, we are confident that we will be able to get rid of conventional energy, that is, energy from power plants.

Integrating Organisational Goals with a Progressive ESG Strategy
The leadership of a cement organisation must be committed to ESG. A key example for this would be the 2040 target that we at Dalmia Bharat have set. Especially in a sector where 55 per cent to 60 per cent are processes-related emissions, yet we have been able to achieve the interim targets of our roadmap. This shows the commitment at a corporate, environment and social level. We believe clean and green is profitable and sustainable, and we see this becoming a possibility only when it is firmly entrenched within our strategy. Everything that we set out to do, we look at it from the lens of sustainability and ESG. So, whether it is ours or any other company, there are some inherent risks such as raw material security, climate change, environment, and health and safety. But when you have a robust environment framework, one can control the risk and bring it to an acceptable level. Organisations must have a focus on alternate fuel, which leads to raw material security.

Due to our strategic focus on ESG, we have made the commitment not only to become carbon negative by 2040 but also like ‘RE100’, EP 100, EV 100, FMC and LEADIT to act as catalyst for change in the Heavy-industry sector. All these initiatives have positively impacted the trust from stakeholders and improved our ESG scores so that we can help build a nation that encourages a circular economy and sustains for aeons to come

Concrete

Thyssenkrupp Polysius wins orders in Vietnam

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ThyssenKrupp Polysius’ Asia Pacific division has secured an order for two Polflame-type main burners for an unnamed cement plant. The equipment supplier has highlighted the ability of its burner product to cope with low-grade coal and support high alternative fuel substitution rates as key selling factors. The order follows the purchase of an Impact Crusher by the same customer previously.

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Lafarge Canada to donate to wild salmon project

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Lafarge Canada has announced a five-year in-kind donation with the Nicomekl Enhancement Society (NES) in British Columbia. The agreement will see the building materials producer donate around US$15,000/yr in aggregates, concrete and labour to enhance the sustainability of the wild Pacific salmon population and ecosystem within the coastal area of the Nicomekl River.

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Concrete

Holcim divests Holcim Russia

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Holcim has agreed to sell its Russian business to its local management. When the transaction is completed, the business will continue to operate under different branding. Holcim says that it remains committed to supporting Holcim Russia’s employees and ensuring an orderly transfer for its customers. DGAP Corporate News has reported that Holcim deconsolidated the subsidiary in March 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The company’s statement said, “Holcim’s Board of Directors expresses its heartfelt concern about the tragic human suffering in the region, and is fully committed to supporting affected people, families and communities. The Board of Directors thanks all Holcim colleagues who are mobilising around the world alongside local NGOs to provide shelter, essential goods and medical supplies, as well as volunteering their time.”

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