Monday 21 January 2019

CSR in Action

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Circular economy study – Collaborative action

In 2016, TITAN Greece contributed to the collaborative efforts of the SEV Business Council for Sustainable Development (SEV-BCSD), WBCSD's Global Network partner in Greece, and Ernst & Young Hellas, for launching the joint report on the benefits of adopting a circular economy approach for the country's economy. The initiative promoted the potential for transformational change that a Circular Economy can bring to the status quo of the Greek economy, both upstream and downstream, including the solving of chronic, confrontational problems, such as waste management, and extending to the provision of investment opportunities, as a catalyst towards sustainable growth.

TITAN Greece was one of main contributors to the study, which aimed to export results on circular economy and to underline the importance of collaborative action, based on the following steps:

  • The stakeholder engagement approach was based on stakeholder dialogue, with business associations and other third parties, which was identified early as a key element and objective of the study.
  • The work consisted primarily of analysis and synthesis of information and data made available or collected through primary and secondary research.
  • It is a fact that the circular economy obviously applies differently to each sector examined; each sector faces diverse challenges and priority issues across its value chain. In order for this study to provide valuable information for each sector separately, but at the same time be able to reach horizontal level conclusions, SEV-BCSD and Ernst & Young Hellas proceeded with identifying specific key aspects of the circular economy.

Among important findings and plans for improvement: the need for legislative and regulatory reform towards a circular economy and the need for the enforcement of hazardous waste legislation and addressing waste market barriers. Especially in the case of Greece, the country has the lowest ranking among EU member states in the utilization of alternative fuels for co-processing in the cement industry, combined with one of the highest rates of disposal-landfilling for its waste.

Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the “end-of-life” stage, rather than on the design stage; the fact that recycling and recovery of construction and demolition waste as well as bio-waste requires considerable improvement; that food waste recovery is limited, resulting in significant economic and environmental repercussions. Energy is largely dependent on non-renewable sources, efficiency is relatively low and most sectors studied are in an early transitional phase towards circular economy. Finally, the penetration of secondary fuels in certain industrial applications like cement is low.

In connection with the above, TITAN Greece also presented a case study on “Saving fuels and non-renewable raw materials through the utilization of alternative fuels and raw materials in clinker and cement production”, in the Europe BCSD’s publication: “An inspirational view for a sustainable economy in Europe: taking on the Sustainable Development Goals, 70+ entrepreneurial projects Examples of how companies throughout Europe are contributing to the implementation of the SDGs.”

The report underscored the multitude of gains from the use of alternative fuels and raw materials:

  • Energy costs are driven down and the entire cement sector becomes more competitive;
  • Natural resources (fossil fuels and non-renewable raw materials) are preserved, and companies’ CO2 footprint is reduced;
  • Society benefits from the rational, safe, and low-cost management of solid waste, in accordance with to the applicable EU recommendations.

In 2016, TITAN cement plants used 500,000 tons of industrial by-products and waste to substitute natural raw materials. The use of construction and demolition waste in cement manufacturing is an innovative solution that TITAN has implemented over the past years. Waste concrete is sent back to TITAN plants as an alternative source of raw material in cement kilns.

Use of alternative fuels: The use of alternative fuels contributes to lower energy costs and remains a strategic target of TITAN Group. In 2016, the Kamari plant reached a 32% ratio (heat-based substitution) in replacing conventional with alternative fuels, and TITAN’s performance for all cement operations in Greece reached 18%. The total volume of alternative fuels which were co-processed in 2016 reached 90,000 tons and the reduction in CO2 emissions exceeded 30,000 tons, with the consumption of 62,000 tons of natural fossil fuels (coal) being avoided.

Report 2017