DNV GL provides independent assessment of global cement companies

DNV GL has played an integral role in a global independent assessment study for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) that demonstrates how leading cement companies achieving progress towards sustainability.

Undertaken across the membership of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of WBCSD, the recent study demonstrates that leading cement companies are improving their sustainability through the CSI collaborative approach.

17 member companies were audited by DNV GL against their commitments and responsibilities set out in the Charter of the CSI , a global effort by 24 major cement producers with operations in more than 100 countries. The scope of the audit also included comparison of individual members’ performance on the CSI Charter performance measures against the aggregate performance of all members audited. Our scope did not include assurance of performance data reported by the companies under the CSI requirements; such assurance is commissioned separately by the individual member companies.

The results confirm that the Charter enables member companies around the world to better integrate their sustainability practices, seek out opportunity for value creation and manage more effectively their environmental footprints.  

Jon Woodhead, Regional Assessment Services Manager for Business Assurance, Northern Europe, led the audit team on behalf of DNV GL. “Our robust audit showed that commitment to the CSI was observed to be high across all companies visited, and that progress is being made. We identified areas of achievement, as well as highlighting where improvement is recommended.”

Philippe Fonta, Managing Director of the CSI said: “The CSI is unique in bringing together cement companies across the world in mature and emerging markets. The Charter sets out the commitments through a collaborative approach. It reinforces our view that what gets measured gets done.”

DNV GL auditors mapped the implementation of the Charter in seven key areas:
  1. CO2 emissions and energy management
  2. Fuels and material use
  3. Health and safety
  4. Emissions monitoring and reporting
  5. Local impact on land and communities
  6. Reporting and communications
  7. Governance

In each area, at least one company scored 100% in terms of implementing commitments of the CSI Charter, although no member achieved perfect scores across all seven areas. This result reflects the robustness of the audit process as well as the relevance of the CSI Charter, and its ambitious yet achievable requirements.

In general, higher scores were achieved for the management of energy and CO2 emissions as well as for fuels and material use. More technical in nature, these issues have been part of the CSI work programme since the launch of its first Agenda for Action in 2002. They have provided significant benefits such as waste recovery, economic savings and nurturing innovation.

The audit also identified areas for improvement, such as biodiversity, communications and relationships with communities. The requirements of the Charter relating to these specific fields will be reviewed for clarity and strengthened where necessary.

Member companies participating in the audit found the exercise beneficial for gaining an external, independent view and for driving internal reflection required to review and adjust their implementation strategy.

Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge and current co-chairman of CSI commented: “The cement sector fully recognizes its responsibility to mitigate its carbon footprint as well as fulfil its broader responsibilities to society and nature. It was this outlook that led to the original and unique development of the CSI over ten years ago to advance sustainability among the major cement manufacturers around the world. Since then, the CSI has maintained a leading role to support the reduction of carbon emissions by the sector, as evidenced by this audit. Such an approach is even more important in this year of the COP21, which provides the opportunity for a global roadmap that is more ambitious in its objectives.”

Philippe Fonta commented, “Independent verification of compliance with the CSI charter is a critical part of this initiative. It enables the CSI to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our Charter while setting the agenda for the future. Results show that achieving 100% in every aspect is challenging, but possible. If one member can do it, it encourages all other members to strive to reach the same level.”

Future audits will continue to monitor trends in progress and reinforce the global added value of the CSI’s collaborative approach for its members.

Notes to editors

About DNV GL – Business Assurance

DNV GL is a world-leading certification body. We help businesses assure the performance of their organizations, products, people, facilities and supply chains through certification, verification, assessment and training services. Partnering with our customers, we build sustainable business performance and create stakeholder trust.

The DNV GL Group operates in more than 100 countries. Our 16,000 professionals are dedicated to helping our customers make the world safer, smarter and greener. 

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of some 200 forward-thinking global companies, is committed to galvanising the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the Council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the Council helps drive debate and policy change in favour of sustainable development solutions.

The WBCSD provides a forum for its member companies  - who represent all business sectors, all continents and a combined revenue of more that $8.5 trillion, 19 million employees – to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The Council also benefits from a network of 70 national and regional business councils and partner organisations, a majority of which are based in development countries.

About the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI)

The Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) is a global effort by 23 leading cement producers, with operations in more than 100 countries. Collectively these companies account for around 30% of the world’s cement production and range in size from very large multinationals to smaller local producers. All CSI members have integrated sustainable development into their business strategies and operations, as they seek strong financial performance with an equally strong commitment to social and environmental responsibility. The CSI is an initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).