By Mark S. Kuhar
Cemex has developed a methodology to standardize water management across all of the company’s operations. Starting this year, this methodology will be rolled out to all of the businesses in the countries in which Cemex operates in order to minimize the company’s water footprint and increase its water efficiency.
This “Water Project” is the result of a three-year partnership between Cemex and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the improvement and efficiency of water management in the cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates sectors of the building materials industry.
“Sustainability is embedded in Cemex business strategy and day-to-day operations. Under existing climate change scenarios, it is predicted that almost half of the world’s population will live in areas of high water stress by 2030. Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that efficient water management plays an important role in our business. As Cemex strives to minimize its environmental footprint, partnering with IUCN helps our company to reduce risk, be good stewards of the environment, and ensure we provide the greatest value for our stakeholders,” said Luis Farias, Cemex’s senior vice president of energy and sustainability.
The roll out of this methodology will focus initially on measuring the company’s water footprint, and secondly on defining actions to increase its water efficiency and reduce its water usage. This three-year partnership has so far leveraged important findings from data collection to minimize Cemex’s water footprint and increase efficiency.
As water-stressed regions are predicted to expand and increase, so does the level of risk faced by businesses that rely on water. Water is an important natural asset for the production of cement, ready-mix concrete, and aggregates at Cemex sites around the world. Accordingly, sharing available water resources equitably among all stakeholders – including ecosystems – and reducing risk for business operators are key components of the Cemex-IUCN partnership.
“Water is a resource for which there is no substitute. Without adequate supplies of water, not only do businesses face serious risks, but also do public water providers and ecosystems. In partnering with IUCN, Cemex is working to achieve improved water management across its operations, maintain access to sustainable sources of water, and reduce risks associated with water for the company,” said Dr. James Dalton, IUCN water program coordinator, Global Initiatives.