Cement manufacturers, Hima has outlined an ambitious sustainability plan in line with the changing global operating environment to stay competitive in the regional market.
The plan, which will be the cement makers focus this year, has set targets to be achieved in areas of operations costs management, environment preservation, job creation, safety in its factory and community development.
Hima Cement’s General Manager Daniel Pettersson said the global market demands are changing and the firm has a responsibility to set the pace for its sector and the entire construction value chain.
Taking direction from the Lafarge group Sustainability Ambitions 2020, the company has localized the plans to include increase in the use of natural clean fuels in its operations and cutting fossil fuel use by more than half.
“What makes this approach even more interesting is that not only does it save energy, but it also eliminates all this natural waste,” said Petterson.
He said their operations aim at optimizing the use of natural resources and protection of the environment.
“We use up to 53% of our kiln fuel from biomass – coffee husks, rice husks, palm kernels, G-nuts husks and baggase.
“The biomass use has so far delivered environmental benefits through a carbon emission reduction of 67,000 tons annually,” added Pettersson.
The sustainability plan will automatically improve the lifestyles of communities in which the company operates. This in various ways such as job creation to the local community -biomass materials handling, increased household revenues in particular to the farming community and business opportunities through supply chain.
It is currently implementing a massive coffee growing project in which it is distributing highly subsidized coffee seedlings to farmers.The first phase of the coffee project which started in 2011 saw 7.1 Million seedlings distributed to over 35,000 farmers in Kasese and Kamwenge. This year, phase two of the project will see an additional 9.6 million seedlings distributed to farmers over the next two years.
The annual revenues to the farmers are estimated at over 10 million Euros per annum while Hima cement will use the coffee husks for the environment friendly energy source to the tune of 15 kilo tons annually.
The plan also includes continued full rehabilitation of used up quarries and achieving zero fatalities and lost time injuries for its employees and contractors in the elaborate health amp safety ambition.
“These sustainability ambitions are our commitment to future generations,” Pettersson said.
Source : East African Business Week