Why is it so important to build better with less?
With population growth and urbanization on the rise, we have to rethink the way we build cities to enable greener and smarter living for all, as well as make them climate-resilient. We see urbanization also happening here in Poland – and it’s quite rapid. And although the domestic property market has grown significantly in the past 15 years, it still has big needs: There is a shortage of several million apartments and thousands of kilometers of roads in Poland today.
We also mustn’t forget that the water level is rising and that Poland is one of the many countries exposed to the associated risks. Therefore, the country is developing a maritime defense infrastructure to protect its coasts and, at the same time, expand the capacity of ports in the north. Holcim Poland has delivered the first major project to build a 1.5-kilometer-long breakwater system.
Moreover, creating sustainable infrastructure today requires using materials that have a lower environmental impact, while also being safe and durable. The construction sector in Poland can significantly contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. As part of Holcim, we see this as an opportunity to create new low-emission and circular solutions that can help achieve this goal.
Xavier Guesnu, CEO of Holcim Poland
By focusing on commercializing environmentally friendly products, we can accommodate the rapid rate of urbanization in a climate-friendly way and make our cities more sustainable.
How are you greening your operations and enabling customers to build better with less?
We start decarbonizing our value chain by greening our own operations. Several large investments have been made to get us further quicker on our decarbonization journey. For instance, we are modernizing the cement plant in Malogoszcz, aiming at saving 20% CO2 emissions and reducing energy consumption by one-third thanks to technologies such as waste heat recovery.
At the Kujawy cement plant, we are starting the Go4ECOPlanet project, where we will introduce a unique technology for capturing carbon dioxide and creating a full carbon capture and storage (CCS) chain from CO2 capture to offshore storage in the North Sea. For this project, Holcim Poland has received the EU Innovation Fund grant in 2022.
The project is unique on a global scale and the solution will allow us to capture 100% of the CO2 emissions resulting from cement production by 2027, which means that Kujawy can become the first net-zero cement plant in Poland and one of the first in the world.
Ready-mix (RMX) concrete plants are another area we are making greener. We have successfully completed pilot revitalization projects at two of our RMX plants where we installed solar panels, water retention and recycling systems and made them nature-friendly by planting trees and other vegetation to minimize air pollution. We plan to renovate all RMX plants in Poland in a similar manner. We are also actively investing in renewable energy, which now covers 25% of our energy needs. By 2030, Holcim Poland aims to use 100% green energy.
For example, we’ve been reshaping our portfolio to offercements with more low-emission raw materials inside. In the last three years, we saved 200,000 tons of CO2 – the equivalent of taking 100,000 diesel cars off our roads.