Spotlight HeidelbergCement: Cementing a Carbon-Neutral Future

September 14, 2021
By Knowledge Leaders Team in Knowledge Leaders

For 150 years, HeidelbergCement’s products have been used to build houses, traffic routes and commercial and industrial facilities. Because of its role as one of the largest manufacturers of building materials in the world, the firm takes a leadership position in the industry’s responsibility to the environment. A pioneer in carbon neutrality, HeidelbergCement has committed to invent and produce climate-neutral cement by the year 2050.

Innovation is a long-held value in this firm’s history. For example, as a supplier of building materials for 3D-printing, earlier this year the firm built the first-ever residential house to be constructed fully with a 3D concrete printer, located in Germany. After World War II, HeidelbergCement was an early adopter of new technologies like heavy machinery that allowed workers to extract raw materials and deliver product more efficiently. Today at its Heidelberg, Germany, headquarters, the firm’s technical office oversees planning and modernization in its factories, which it aims to maintain to the latest standards.

Its major product being cement, R&D efforts are focused on advancing cement and concrete formulations, best practices, raw materials, ready-mixed concrete and building materials for the future. The firm invests substantially in R&D toward new low-carbon products and technologies, this summer for example announcing plans to convert a facility on the Swedish island of Gotland into the world’s first carbon-neutral cement plant. Today at its plant in India, it purchases wind energy to power operations. In addition, the world’s first full-scale installation for carbon capture is underway at HeidelbergCement’s plant in Norway, where the firm plans to capture 50 percent of the plant’s emissions from 2024 onward. Carbon capture is the process of removing CO2 from large emission sources to limit release into the environment. The site will use a mixture of water and organic solvents to absorb the CO2 for permanent storage in a reservoir 1,000-2,000 meters below the sea bed.

HeidelbergCement carbon capture project in Norway

HeidelbergCement has aligned with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals that aim to end extreme poverty, fight injustice and protect the planet. The firm employs 53,000 people in 50 countries.

As of 6/30/21, HeidelbergCement was held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.

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