Holcim Philippines has been implementing reforestation programs through its quarry rehabilitation for the past years. Its cement plants implement reforestation programs, which are provided with budget over a five-year period.
Holcim goes beyond its usual quarry reforestation and tree planting activities by also implementing Adopt-a-watershed program in order to reduce adverse climate change impacts and to protect and conserve areas where trees support water supply security and biodiversity conservation.
The Holcim Davao plant was involved in helping 50 indigenous Matigsalug families in cultivating the Marilog uplands, one of the major watersheds of Davao City. The Davao River Watershed is Mindanao’s third largest catchment and it supports 113 barangays in Davao, according to the People Collaborating for Environmental and Economic Management in Davao.
For La Union, Holcim recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with one of the communities in order to adopt a 50-hectare forest tree plantation within the Lon-oy Watershed in Barangay Lon-oy, San Gabriel, La Union. The partnership aims to protect the Lonoy Watershed under the company’s Environmental Program and insupport of the DENR’s National Greening Program.
Another worthwhile reforestation project is the adoption of the Mt. Kitanglad watershed in Lugait. Biodiversity conservation and sustainable development are at the forefront of Holcim Lugait’s thrust in securing and protecting the 3rd ASEAN heritage Park in the country – Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park.
The park will serve as a refuge to wildlife species that could be disturbed by mining and similar operations. The proximity of Lugait, Misamis Oriental to the Province of Bukidnon shall make it possible for birds to migrate in the park and come back again after the quarried areas are rehabilitated. It is also a haven for the endangered Philippine Eagle.
A MOA was signed on April 27, 2011 between the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP) in Bukidnon and the HPMC-Lugait Plant at Bukidnon State University, together with Dr. Neric Acosta and the Bukidnon Local Government Unit (LGU).
In addition to fossil fuel reduction and raw materials substitution, Holcim Philippines looks into another mode of reducing the effects of climate change, such as, reforestation, in which it establishes carbon sinks and above ground biomass. The company’s strategy is to integrate and align its reforestation efforts with its environmental objectives, such as, rehabilitating its quarry areas and minimizing climate change impacts from its operation.
The total number of trees planted continues to increase annually.
With its quarry rehabilitation programs linked with reforestation and biodiversity, Holcim plans to look into adoption of more mountains, forests and watersheds in various areas outside the boundaries of its cement operation. Its strategic partnerships with local communities and local government units in implementing site rehabilitation and urban re-greening projects have proven to be an effective long-term action plan.
Co-processing is the simultaneous process of thermal treatment of qualified waste materials and the production of clinker, the main ingredient in the manufacture of cement. The co-processing solution is being widely used in European countries and was adopted in the Philippines in early 2000, after the conduct of successful trial runs. These trial runs were conducted in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). From then on, Holcim Philippines opened its cement plants through its co-processing services to industrial companies and LGUs that are looking for an environmentally sound waste management solution.
Local communities, LGUs, government agencies, and clients from other industries.
Holcim recognizes that cement production is an energy intensive process and, for this reason, it continually looks for ways in how it could reduce its energy usage and consequently its CO2 emission. With these objectives, the company conducted several studies and these led to the use of alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) for cement production and the development of the “co-processing” technology.
With its consistent use of waste materials as AFR, Holcim Philippines Inc. has continuously improved its CO2 emission. By substituting waste materials, such as, biomass, segregated municipal wastes, industry sludges, and other industry wastes, for traditional fuels, such as, coal, sustainability is enhanced as the world’s coal reserves are further preserved for future generations. In addition, these waste materials often have lower CO2 emission factors compared to traditional fuels, thus contributing to CO2 reduction per ton of product produced.
Results of specific CO emission from 1990-2010 show a significant decrease for the past years due to benefits gained from utilizing waste materials as substitute for fossil fuel.
Increased volume and types of qualified waste streams were co-processed and the number of companies and LGUs that were served from the year that the Holcim offered its co-processing services expanded. More wastes being co-processed means less wastes directed to unsanitary landfill less chance of waste being openly burned, and less greenhouse gases emission from the irresponsible disposal of waste materials. Holcim’s AFR usage is projected to expand further in the coming years.