Cemex carbon footprint tool paces sustainability curve

A tool under phased, global deployment enables Monterrey, Mexico-based Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V., to measure greenhouse gas emissions tied to production and delivery of cement, ready mixed and aggregate products. A first of its kind in building materials, it assists customers calculating a project’s carbon footprint. Cemex will begin publishing product-specific carbon content in selected operations during 2011, with rollout schedule reflecting market requirements, and include related performance indicators in its annual Sustainable Development Report.

The company unveiled the tool during a round table, “Key Challenges for Construction in the 21st Century,” set amid the COP16 meeting (16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Cancun. Co-hosted by Cemex and World Green Building Council, the round table covered key trends driving sustainable construction, plus proposals on production practices, design and application of concrete products contributing to that end. “We strive to operate our business in a sustainable way by measuring and reducing our carbon footprint in our products and operations,” said Luis Farías, Cemex Senior Vice-President of Energy and Sustainability.

“Measurement, verification and calculation methods performed in accordance with ISO [International Organization for Standardization] and CEN [European Committee for Standardization] standards, and adopted by recognized certification protocols, are key fundamentals to promote low-carbon construction practices,” added panelist and CEN President Juan Carlos López Agü. “Knowing the environmental impact of a product helps producers, consumers and societies make informed decisions and take positive steps towards operating at a sustainable level.” ISO and CEN standards offer a solid basis for full life cycle analysis, he adds, and support certification protocols for materials, building products and construction methods weighing environmental, economic and social aspects.

Cemex’s carbon footprint tool has been verified by independent certifier DNV, one of the world’s leading environmental certification entities, in accordance with international certification protocols PAS2050, ISO14040, and the draft versions of ISO14067, and the WBCSD / WRI GHG protocol “Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard.”

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