Cement company grilled on carbon emissions

Posted by Laura Grant on February 2, 2008
Posted in Business

Shareholder activist Theo Botha has taken another company to task on its carbon emissions. This time he grilled cement company PPC on its “vague” environmental targets at its annual general meeting in Sandton on Monday.

According to a report by Rob Rose of the Financial Mail, Botha asked why PPC didn’t disclose its total carbon emissions. The company’s chairman, Martin Shaw, replied: “Maybe we’ll do that, put those details in.”

“If they can’t account for such an important figure, their sustainability report is largely meaningless,” Botha reportedly said.

The cement industry produces 5 percent of the world’s man-made carbon-dioxide emissions, according to a 2002 report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The chemical process of producing clinker is responsible for 50 percent of those emissions – when calcium carbonate is heated it produces lime and carbon dioxide – and burning fossil fuels for energy is responsible for 40 percent.

The WBCSD says that “it requires the equivalent of 60 to 130kg of fuel oil and 110 kWh of electricity to produce one ton of cement (depending on the cement variety and the process used).”

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