Pledged to a carbon footprint-conscious growth, Ambuja Cements uses an array of eco-friendly practices to ensure a healthier and cleaner tomorrow for the future generations
Since inception, Ambuja Cement has striven to embed environmental and social considerations in business decisions. From the use of clean technology to energy conservation and reliance on green energy solutions, from institutionalised mechanisms to strict adherence to sustainable supply chain solutions ― sustained, multi-pronged efforts have helped ingrain a sustainability agenda in the company’s DNA.
Ambuja Cement stands way ahead of its peers for its management of natural resources, energy management, carbon emissions reduction, conservation of water resources and biodiversity, and management of waste. It is the only company to be certified five times water positive, which means it gives back five times the water it consumes.
Ambuja Cement also provides sustainable waste management solutions to industries, municipalities and the agriculture sector under the brand name, Geocycle India. Geocycle is sustainable waste management solutions by LafargeHolcim – the industry leader in sustainable manufacturing practices.
Ambuja Cement has framed an overarching corporate environment policy and is also guided by LafargeHolcim’s biodiversity directive and policies.
Ambuja Cement has devised innovative ways to better manage valuable resources and use it judiciously to promote sustainable development. The company’s multi-pronged strategies include use of low grade limestone, synthetic gypsum waste from other industries, agricultural biomass, and different industrial wastes as alternative fuel. About 20.2% of the total raw material used in manufacturing involves recycled material.
Increase in use of waste like fly ash (over 5 million tonnes used in 2015) helped in reducing the clinker factor. While the overall raw material cost remained largely flat compared to 2014, that of fly ash and gypsum decreased by 1% and 5% respectively.
Energy is of prime concern for Ambuja Cement. The company has achieved significant progress in attaining energy efficiency and building capacities in clean renewable energy sources. Alternative fuels and low cost waste material such as petcoke are used wherever possible.
Ambuja Cement co-processed about 2.6 lakh tonnes of alternative fuels in 2015, achieving a thermal substitution rate of 5.71% compared to 3.95% in 2014, which resulted in a financial benefit of Rs328.4 million from alternative fuel and Rs115.3 million from alternative raw material. The company also saved fuel worth Rs679 million and raw material worth Rs306.8 million through the initiative.
The company purchased renewable energy certificates equivalent to 19,601 MWh non-solar power and 4,723 MWh of solar power in 2015. The net renewable energy generation in 2015 was about 59,080 MWhr, contributing about 4.6% of our total energy generation. Renewable energy projects enabled the company to reduce about 59,559 tonnes of CO2.
Ambuja Cement is part of the Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development working group on development and implementation of a Low Carbon Technology Roadmap for the Indian Cement Industry. The strategies mentioned in the roadmap were piloted at the Ambujanagar plant in 2015, with focus on energy efficiency opportunities.
Co-processing of industrial and other wastes at the company’s kilns as alternative fuels has reduced emission of greenhouse gases in recent years. For captive power plants, the company focuses on fuel mix optimisation with alternative/low cost fuels, thermal efficiency and station heat rate (SHR) improvement, reduction in auxiliary electrical energy consumption and capacity utilisation to reduce its carbon footprint.
The company’s waste heat recovery project, which started operation in 2015 at Rabriyawas, is registered under the Clean Development Mechanism of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to accrue 30,000 Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) per year for the next 10 years.
Ambuja Cement believes in giving back more than it takes. The company, which was certified four times water positive in 2015, has set its target on becoming five times water positive by 2020. The company consumed about 6.7 million cubic metres (Mm3) of water from various sources for its operations in 2015, of which about 1 Mm3 of water or about 14% of total comprised of reused/recycled water.
Ambuja Cement through its CSR arm, Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), works extensively in the company's neighbourhoods to manage water resources through conservation and harvesting. ACF's multidimensional approach included setting up roof rain water harvesting structures (RRWHS), enhancement of water sources by installing percolation wells and check dams, farming low water intensive crops, and creation of a potable water distribution system.
Ambuja Cement is committed to the conservation of biodiversity and follows an active policy to protect valuable ecosystems. Sustainable mining practices, water bodies and pastureland development, and land rehabilitation have helped enhance the landscape and biodiversity of the area around the company’s sites. Biodiversity (flora and fauna) studies have been conducted by third parties for almost all mining areas.
Ambuja is a signatory to the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. The company has also been active in International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Leader for Nature (LfN) initiative. Ambuja Cement follows the Group Biodiversity Directive that requires it to prepare a biodiversity action plan (BAP) for sensitive sites.
Ambuja is committed to not only manage its own waste, but also to provide state-of-the-art sustainable waste management services to other industries and waste generators through cement kiln co-processing by its Geocycle brand.
The company co-processes waste from the agricultural, industrial and public/municipal sectors which has enabled it to significantly replace traditional fuels with alternate fuels & raw materials (AFR).
An innovation in sustainability