Sustainable development is the shared responsibility of the government and the business sector. At Republic Cement, we’re doing our part to help build a stronger and more sustainable nation.
— Don H. Lee, CEO, Republic Cement Group
With the global sustainable development agenda gaining new momentum on the heels of the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) last year, organizations around the world are ramping up their contributions to climate change mitigation.
In the Philippines, where a dynamic economy continues to sustain robust growth in the construction sector, Republic Cement is spearheading the shift to environmentally responsive manufacturing practices and products.
Speaking at the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) Foundation Summit on Clean Air and Climate Change, Republic Cement CEO Don H. Lee shared the company’s many pioneering sustainability initiatives embedded across all aspects of its operations.
“Over the years, Republic cement has undertaken significant improvements in its manufacturing processes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” Lee explained.
Greening the country
Lee identified one of Republic Cement’s sustainability initiatives in the area of responsible stewardship of natural resources. “Reforestation is an integral part of our operations,” explaining that the company has planted and grown more than 400,000 trees in over 700 hectares of denuded land starting 2013 for its contribution to the country’s reforestation efforts. The company’s reforestation program is estimated to sequester as much as 78,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere in the next 10 years and aims to expand its scope to 1,500 hectares by 2020.
Republic Cement also looks to innovative solutions to promote energy efficiency. Lee said that the company has been utilizing alternative fuels since 2002, co-processing rice husk and other select biomass as well as refuse-derived fuel (RDF) sourced from solid waste segregation facilities to power its cement manufacturing operations. Its plants’ co-processing activities contribute to effective waste management while also reducing the company’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Republic Cement also operates a Waste Heat Recovery system in its Teresa Plant in Rizal, which further improves energy efficiency by channeling excess heat from the plant’s production processes to generate electricity. The WHR supplies nearly 30 percent of the plant’s energy requirements and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 12,000 tons per year.
Complementing these various process innovations is Republic Cement’s Total Ash Management agreement with coal-fired power generating companies, which allow for the use of fly and bottom ash, by-products of coal-fired power generation, in the cement manufacturing process. The use of fly and bottom ash provides a viable and sustainable alternative to the use of non-renewable quarry materials, such as pozzolan, limestone, and gypsum.
Republic Cement today is the only cement manufacturer in the country that manufactures fly ash blended cement.