Sustainable Construction

Sustainable construction materials with a small CO2 footprint are playing an ever more important role for us and our customers. We use special additives in order to improve the CO2 balance of the products based on our Portland cement. These alternative materials, which are waste products from steel mills and coal-fired power plants, partially replace Portland cement clinker in the production of "composite cement". We have also been working for several years to develop alternative binding materials that almost completely eliminate the need for conventional clinker.

Research and Development

Of course, at HeidelbergCement we are also working to develop new products. With the discovery of a new reactive clinker phase, we have created the foundation for an alternative clinker technology (Ternocem®). The associated altered chemical composition and low combustion temperatures result in CO2 emissions that are roughly 30% lower than is the case with a conventional clinker, as well as energy savings of about 15%. The basic technology is protected by several patents.

We produced more than 5,000 tonnes of this clinker in a largescale pilot test. This material is now being used for the development of cement and concrete so that the manufacturing concept can be optimised and in-depth experience can be gained concerning the use of Ternocem® cement in a broad range of applications, e.g. readymixed concrete, precast concrete parts, and concrete products.

We launched a multi-year research programme in 2015 to prepare the technology for the market. This programme receives extensive support from the EU-funded ECO-BINDER project. It will establish the conditions necessary for the future standardisation of products. 

As a founding member of the Concrete Sustainability Council, we actively participated in 2015 in the development of a new certification system for sustainably manufactured concrete. This certification system is designed to help the concrete industry and its supply chain take social and economic aspects of their activities into account as they implement measures to continuously improve the environmental performance of their products.