CSR Breakfast with the IHK Rhein-Neckar
On 15 February 2017, HeidelbergCement and the Rhein-Neckar Chamber of Commerce (IHK Rhein-Neckar) invited representatives of businesses throughout the region to the so-called “CSR Breakfast”. More than 60 interested companies took advantage of the opportunity at the Print Media Academy in Heidelberg to learn more on the subject of “CO2 – valuable commodity and driver of product innovation” at HeidelbergCement. Irmgard Abt, President of IHK Rhein-Neckar and HeidelbergCement CEO Dr. Bernd Scheifele spoke at the event, which focused on the ecological footprint of the company and its products.
IHK President Abt began by presenting some pertinent data about CO2, after which Dr. Bernd Scheifele talked about HeidelbergCement and the latest numbers: “Sustainable business models, efficient production processes, an innovative product portfolio and proximity to the local business are what underpin the success of HeidelbergCement,” said Dr. Scheifele.
He introduced Peter Lukas, Head of Global Environmental Sustainability (GES), who presented insights about ongoing research into CO2 sequestration and recycling. “For an energy and CO2-intensive company like HeidelbergCement, reducing CO2 emissions is a top priority,” said Peter Lukas. “Steps like increasing energy efficiency, alternative fuels use and substitution of clinker in cement have already gone a long way towards minimising generation of the greenhouse gas. But it is a completely new approach to use the potential of CO2 as a raw material – one that will pay dividends down the road.” This is why, for years now, HeidelbergCement has invested heavily in research projects studying ways to store and use CO2, for instance in the growing of biomass or carbonisation of various minerals.
The whole topic of sustainable products was covered by Dr. Christian Artelt, GES Sustainable Construction Manager, whose presentation centred around resource efficiency and innovative solutions to reducing the CO2 footprint of cement and concrete: “The ability to produce concrete in a more sustainable way involves recycling waste products from other industries for production of clinker, cement and concrete, as well as concrete recycling,” said Dr. Artelt.
Participants listened eagerly as Dr. Artelt talked about innovative products , including a special thermal energy storing concrete that can store excess thermal energy up to 400° Celsius, e.g. from solar thermal energy plants.
The CSR Breakfast is an event series promoted by the Rhein-Neckar, Pfalz and Darmstadt Chambers of Commerce. Each month, a new company is invited to host the event and present their sustainability strategy. For several years now, the CSR Breakfast series has served as a platform to foster dialogue on the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan region.