Water

 

Holcim is commited to reducing freshwater pumping in the cement industry by 30 by 2030. We shall achieve this goal by collecting rainwater, reusing water and using freshwater in an efficient manner.

In order to support the achievement of our goals, Holcim has created the framework for responsible water management, the risk management and the positive contribution to the water resources and ecosystems.

A closed water recycling system operates a both the Volos and Milaki plantsm significantly contributing to the reduction of the activity's water footptint.The consumption of surface or subterranean water is measured by water metres installed in pumping points, while the consumption of network water is recorded in the invoices of the municipal water companies.

The Milaki plant and the pozzolan quarry in Milos have installed autonomous systems for the collection and use of rainwater. rainwater is used for watering plants, spraying, washing and other activities, while the available  quantity depends on each year's amount of rainfall. The factory operates its own desalination plant thus securinf the water (350,000-400,000 m3 ) for the processes needed.

In  December 2010,the Milaki plant oragnised an Open Information Day for the local community. More than 150 people visited  the factory and the new desalination plant, where they attended a presentation by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research regarding the relevant study.

The Volos plant cooperates with 'EPSA' soft drink industry to limit the consumption of natural resources. Nature does not produce waste. In natural ecosystems, what is waste by one oragnism, is a useful raw materials for another. The same reasoning also applies to our industrial processes to limit the consumption of natural resources.

The Volos plant consumes water for direct use in the production process, wetting the factory roads and outdoor piles of materials for redusing the diffuse dust an for irrigating trees and plants.

The plant consumes about 270,00m3 of water/year in its production process, mainly for the rapid cooling of the installation's exchaustfumes evaporating into the atmosphere.

Therefore, the Volos plant, after contact with the adjacent unit of 'EPSA"  reuses the treated water from the cleaning of the production lines and the washing of bottles. This quantity is equal to 100 m3 of water per day, 30,000 m3 of water per year, reducing by equal amounts the plant's demand for fresh water.

The benefits of the project are mainly environmental for both the companies as well as the local community. On the one hand, because the pumping of fresh clean water for a use that does not require such water quality is avoided and consequently conserves natural resources and on the other hand, beacuse the discharge of wastewater into the sea is avoided, thus protecting the environment. The partnership between the two factories is a sustainable practice for both companies that reduce their local environmental footprint.