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Buzzi Unicem USA and Alamo Cement Plants Receive 2019 ENERGY STAR Certification
19 December 2019

Buzzi Unicem USA and Alamo Cement Plants Receive 2019 ENERGY STAR Certification

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded its 2019 ENERGY STAR® certification to Buzzi Unicem USA plants in Chattanooga, TN and Festus, MO and to the Alamo Cement Company plant in San Antonio, TX.  This certification is awarded to a facility for superior energy performance in comparison to similar plants. This marks the eleventh consecutive year the Chattanooga and Festus plants have received certification, and the eighth consecutive year for the San Antonio plant. In order to qualify for ENERGY STAR recognition, cement plants must score at least 75 on the Energy Performance Indicator (EPI), used by the EPA to measure energy efficiency.  In addition, the plant must have a satisfactory environmental compliance record for the past 3 years.  Receipt of the ENERGY STAR certification means these three plants perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide. The ENERGY STAR program focuses on strategic energy management and emphasizes the importance of demonstrating environmental leadership for future generations.

Cement Innovation for Climate (CI4C) launches Oxyfuel project
16 December 2019

Cement Innovation for Climate (CI4C) launches Oxyfuel project

On 6 December 2019 the four European cement manufacturers Buzzi Unicem, HeidelbergCement, Schwenk and Vicat have founded a joint research corporation named CI4C - Cement Innovation for Climate –, which is currently waiting for final approval from the anti-trust-authorities.
The corporation was founded to realize a joined research project named “catch4climate”, which will investigate the practical usability of the Oxyfuel Carbon Capture technology in the cement production process.
The oxyfuel technology (from oxygen and fuel) is a clinker burning process in which pure oxygen is introduced into the kiln system instead of air, in order to assure proper combustion of all primary and secondary fuels for heat generation. By this, an exhaust gas with a very high purity of CO2 is produced inside the kiln, which will considerably improve the CO2 capture potential. The medium term goal is to capture 100 percent of the CO2 emissions of a cement plant in the most cost-efficient way. The “catch4climate” project will investigate options for the widespread use of this carbon capture technology in cement plants, in order to be able to offer the CO2 captured e.g. as a raw material for other industrial processes (CCU, CCS). With this project, the European cement industry can contribute significantly to the reduction of process-related CO2 emissions and therewith provide an important contribution to climate protection.
The four partner companies of the CI4C research corporation will now build and operate an oxyfuel test facility on semi-industrial scale at the premises of the cement plant in Mergelstetten, Southern Germany, as the key part of the “catch4climate” project. The official launch of the project is planned for 2020, after all necessary operational and emission-related permits will be granted.

The Cleanker project for capturing CO2: SmartCity is talking about it
05 November 2019

The Cleanker project for capturing CO2: SmartCity is talking about it

Installation work on the Cleanker Project pilot system at the Buzzi Unicem in Vernasca has begun, with the goal of demonstrating that the CO2 generated during the cement production cycle can be captured, preventing it from being emitted into the atmosphere and ultimately helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

The research is being funded as part of the EU’s Horizon 2020, the seven-year Framework Program (2014-2020) aimed at supporting the most promising research, innovation and technology transfer activities in Europe. Involving 12 European and one Chinese partner, the initiative is coordinated by LEAP (Piacenza Environmental Energy Laboratory), a specialized laboratory in the energy and environmental sector and a subsidiary of the Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic of Milan), by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Sacred Heart Catholic University) and companies in the energy industry. 

The parties involved are optimistic that this project could have important global repercussions for the cement sector, the reduction of CO2 emissions, and for achieving the ambitious European targets established as a result of the Paris agreement (COP21).

SmartCity was talking about this in the edition on October 7.

New shapes beyond formwork
04 November 2019

New shapes beyond formwork

Buzzi Unicem USA and Lehigh University have established a strategic partnership spanning research, recruitment, outreach and cultural activities. 
The flagship project of this industry-academia collaboration focuses on the development of a new methodology for 3D printing concrete components and structures. 
The methodology developed by Lehigh and Buzzi Unicem consists in precisely jetting micro-droplets of a water-based liquid on extremely thin layers of concrete and fine aggregates. The printer automatically spreads layer after layer of the dry mix, and the automated print-head selectively activates the cement hydration only in the locations that are needed for that layer, by jetting droplets only in those regions. The inert cement and aggregates serve as support for the following layers, allowing the creation of openings, cavities, and overhangs. At the end of the printing process, the dry mix that did not react can be easily collected and reused. This manufacturing process is completely automated and free from the constraints of traditional formwork, which also enables the manufacturing of geometries that could not be formed with traditional casting. 

After a broad range of tests, Buzzi Unicem CSA cement emerged as the best option for the binder, especially due to its fast setting time and its ability to rapidly absorb water, which is important to prevent “bleeding” of water to locations where hydration should not occur and preserve geometric accuracy. The collaboration between Buzzi Unicem and Lehigh was also brought to the attention of the State of Pennsylvania, which decided to co-fund the effort. In the future, the project will aim at increasing the size of the produced objects, through the use of larger printers and modular printing of components assembled with post-tensioning cables. 
While the methodology is not yet ready to be deployed in practice, it has the potential to revolutionize the precast industry, and the entire construction sector

LORCENIS project for the development of long-lasting concrete
25 September 2019

LORCENIS project for the development of long-lasting concrete

One of the goals of research in the construction materials sector is aimed at building infrastructure with a lower environmental impact by developing and continuously optimizing advanced concretes. These advanced concretes can achieve high physical-mechanical performance levels and extend the service life of infrastructure by increasing the durability of the materials, one of the underlying principles in the design of sustainable infrastructure. Durability can be increased by preparing concretes that can counteract the degradation resulting from environmental conditions, such as carbonation-induced corrosion caused by chlorides present in a marine environment or other sources, attacks from freeze-thaw cycles or chemical attacks from substances in the ground or industrial processes. Improving the quality of the materials will lead to reduced maintenance operations, efficient use of resources and greater sustainability.
The goal of the LORCENIS project – in which our R&D departments actively participate – is to develop long lasting advanced and functional concretes for building infrastructure for existing and emerging renewable energy technologies. These concretes will be exposed to extreme environmental conditions like in arctic or desert areas along coastlines or in the deep seas. 
For further information, please see the website and read the article published in Portland nr. 76 (

Unical earns the first RSS Certification in Italy
05 July 2019

Unical earns the first RSS Certification in Italy

Unical S.p.A., is the first concrete company in Italy to earn RSS certification (Silver level).
The RSS certification  is issued by CSC -  Concrete Sustainability Council - and asserts that a company meets certain criteria for sustainable practices and operates in a sustainable, environmentally positive manner. 
The batching plant, located in Turin, Strada Berlia, has received the RSS certification in June after completing the CSC procedure, which included certifying the cement produced by Buzzi Unicem’s Robilante Cement plant and the aggregates from Ceretto quarry, all located in the same region and belonging to Buzzi Unicem’s group. 
The certificate has been issued by ICMQ,  the Italian Certification Body member of CSC.
Unical manages more than 100 plants in Italy, and has been acknowledged  as a leading company in concrete technology and production, social and environmental commitment for the past 50 years. 
The RSS certification will be the future reference for a reliable and controlled sustainability assessment for concrete industry, in Italy and in the world.

The contribution of cement and concrete to the circular economy
20 June 2019

The contribution of cement and concrete to the circular economy

The circular economy and climate change mitigation are matters that closely involve the cement and concrete sectors, resulting from the implementation of new national and European directives.  And these topics were specifically the point of discussion when manufacturers from the Federbeton sector met with representatives from Institutions, the Fondazione per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (Foundation for Sustainable Development), ICESP, ISPRA and ANCI, together with support from the ETH of Zurich, on June 6 at the Senate Library in Rome. 
Having been committed to material and energy recovery in their production cycles for many years, manufacturers are ready to meet this challenge, which is crucial for the future of man on the planet, thanks to their ability to give new life to waste materials by transforming them into raw materials and as an alternative to fossil fuels. Nonetheless, they face a number of external obstacles along this path to sustainability, such as legislative differences, mistrust on the part of the territory, lack of symbiosis within the industry.  
The goal of the conference organized by Federbeton, sponsored in conjunction with the Circular Economy Network and moderated by Maurizio Melis, was to frame the current situation and present the medium-term outlook, as well as the sector’s commitment to an increasingly sustainable future. 
Melis then further explored some of the ideas that emerged from the conference in two episodes of Smart City, on 11 and 12 June (podcasts available in Italian only),and the business newspapers Il Sole 24 Ore has interviewed Antonio Buzzi, COO Cement Italy, on the topics discussed during the conference (interview available in Italian only).

Unical, a record breaking pour
19 June 2019

Unical, a record breaking pour

33,000 cubic meters of concrete, 94 hours nonstop supply in 3 minutes: watch Unical record breaking pour video!

OHSAS Certification for Russia and Ukraine
14 June 2019

OHSAS Certification for Russia and Ukraine

In late 2018, the Dyckerhoff cement plants in Russia and Ukraine underwent OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001(*) occupational safety auditing. All the plants passed the audit. 
The OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 standards provide for a safe and healthy workplace environment and set forth guidelines for continually identifying and controlling health and safety risks, reducing accidents and improving overall performance. 
In Ukraine, the OHSAS 18001 certification audit took place between November 5th and 9th 2018, with a positive outcome in all the production plants. The TÜV SÜD auditors acknowledged the hard work from the employees and management in terms of occupational health and safety protection. By pursuing a policy of continuous improvement and taking care of its most important asset, namely their employees, the OHSAS certification demonstrates that Dyckerhoff Cement Ukraine is aware of and controls all the potential risks that could occur on either a daily basis or in emergency situations.

The EES management of Dyckerhoff in Russia coordinated the project in the Sukhoi Log, Korkino and Omsk plants, involving all the employees from the CEO to the workers. The outcome of the certification demonstrates effective organization from the Russian plants and the good relationships with suppliers. 
All task forces will continue to work on the health and safety management system even after obtaining certification, because improvement must be continuous. 

(*) The new ISO 45001, which will replace OHSAS 18001, was published in March 2018. ISO 45001 will become effective in March 2021. All certified facilities must adopt this new standard within this three-year timeframe however OHSAS 18001 certifications can still be issued during this transition period.

New Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute: the largest continuous concrete casting in Europe
30 May 2019

New Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute: the largest continuous concrete casting in Europe

On Tuesday, May 28th at 11.30 am, the concrete casting of Europe's largest foundation plate was completed. 33,000 cubic meters of concrete pumped continuously for 94 hours, 3,300 concrete mixers’ journeys, 106 people from Unical were on duty day and night for an extraordinary project that, literally lays the foundations for a very important work for Milan and beyond. The new Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute, a 16-storey building that will reach a height of 90 meters will be built in the old Expo Area. Unical was involved in the project from the start due to the ability shown in the past to manage continuous concrete casting and, once again, it proved to be up to expectations.

PCA Sustainable Manufacturing Awards for Community Outreach and Safety Innovation
15 May 2019

PCA Sustainable Manufacturing Awards for Community Outreach and Safety Innovation

The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America's cement manufacturers. The Association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, and generally promotes economic growth and sound infrastructure investment. 
Annually PCA recognizes industry leadership and innovation through their Sustainable Manufacturing Awards program in the areas of: Environment and Energy (E&E); Safety Innovation, and Safety Performance.
On 9 April,  Buzzi Unicem USA was the recipient of 2019 Awards in the E&E and Safety Innovation categories.

The Greencastle plant won the 2019 E&E Land Stewardship award for outstanding achievement in community relations  for their work with the not-for-profit People Pathways organization in constructing a 2.6-mile smooth packed stone section of the Putnam Nature Trail. Our staff and People Pathways completed installation over a former railroad bed (aka "rails-to-trails" project) and improved the trail with native trees and prairie vegetation, interpretive signage, benches, birdhouses and other features.
The Festus plant won the 2019 Safety Innovation Award in Pyro-processing for their Automated Clinker Cooler Sampler.  The Sampler system is designed as a simple single-action tray sampler that is hydraulically operated to capture clinker discharged from the kiln. Once the device collects clinker it deposits the sample into a chute by means of a pusher plate, where it is then conveyed to the clinker analyzer.  This automated system eliminates the need for manual collection from the clinker cooler itself.

2018 ENERGY STAR Certification in the United States
10 April 2019

2018 ENERGY STAR Certification in the United States

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded its 2018 ENERGY STAR® certification to our plants in Chattanooga (TN), Festus (MO), Maryneal (TX), and San Antonio (TX).  This certification is awarded to a facility for superior energy performance in comparison to similar plants.
This marks the tenth consecutive year the Chattanooga, Festus, and Maryneal plants have received certification, and the fifth consecutive year for the San Antonio plant.
In order to qualify for ENERGY STAR recognition, cement plants must score at least 75 on the Energy Performance Indicator (EPI), used by the EPA to measure energy efficiency.  In addition, the plant must have a satisfactory environmental compliance record for the past three years.  Receipt of the ENERGY STAR certification means these four plants perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide.
The ENERGY STAR program focuses on strategic energy management and emphasizes the importance of demonstrating environmental leadership for future generations.

Acquisition of a full cycle cement plant and two grinding units in Italy from HeidelbergCement
05 April 2019

Acquisition of a full cycle cement plant and two grinding units in Italy from HeidelbergCement

Today Buzzi Unicem SpA has signed an enforceable agreement for the purchase from HeidelbergCement (more precisely from Italsacci SpA, Italcementi SpA, Cemitaly SpA) of three companies respectively holding a cement plant located in Tuscany (Greve in Chianti) and two grinding units in Piedmont (Borgo San Dalmazzo and Arquata Scrivia).
The transaction is part of the plan aimed at strengthening the national market position, in the framework of the rationalization and consolidation process of the production structure that has been underway in Italy for some years. The transaction, all the determining factors being equal, will also have a positive impact on the profitability of the cement division in Italy, thanks to synergies deriving from economies of scale and to sales and logistics optimization. The execution of the agreement is expected by 31 July 2019.

“Think circular, act sustainable” at the MADE Expo Milan
21 March 2019

“Think circular, act sustainable” at the MADE Expo Milan

“Think circular, act sustainable” was the title of the conference at the MADE Expo Milan, where Antonio Buzzi, Buzzi Unicem COO Cement Italy, spoke on March 15 as a representative of Federbeton
With journalist Maria Chiara Voci acting as the moderator, the other participants included Ezio Micelli, an urban planner from the University of Venice IUAV, Simona Faccioli from Remade Italy, and Elena Stoppioni, President of Save the Planet.
Although each participant presented a different point of view during the sessions, they did agree on one aspect, namely that human beings need to be front and center in the fight against climate change
Looking at the construction industry through an organized, tangible series of processes is perhaps the only way to combine economic sustainability with environmental sustainability, without losing sight of improving the quality of life, building and rehabilitating inviting places that are energy-efficient throughout their entire lifecycle, and rethinking urban spaces as social gathering places.   

Buzzi Unicem at the Green Week Festival 2019
12 March 2019

Buzzi Unicem at the Green Week Festival 2019

The eighth edition of the Green Week Festival 2019 was held from 26 February through 3 March. Sponsored by the Symbola Foundation and Italypost in conjunction with the weekly newspaper Buone Notizie of Corriere della Sera and Egea, the Green Week is an educational and learning opportunity for young people, as well as a cutting-edge showcase for "green thinking" technologies.

As one of the organizations selected to participate, Buzzi Unicem supported the initiative by sharing its values and welcoming the opportunity for a constructive dialogue with stakeholders and other participating companies.
Our participation involved two events that were held separately, the first of which took place during the first days of the Festival when we opened our doors to over 150 researchers and PhD students from Italy at three different production sites, namely Monselice, Fanna and Vernasca. At this event, the participants were able to further their knowledge about production cycle emissions and fallouts on the ground (Monselice), the use of waste-derived fuels as a replacement for fossil fuels (Fanna), and the European Cleanker Project dedicated to testing the calcium looping technology to capture the CO2 emitted by the kiln stack (Vernasca). The second event held in Trento took place through a series of conferences, symposia and round tables.

At the "Sustainability: the pathway of businesses" session, Antonio Buzzi, COO Cement Italy, explained how Buzzi Unicem constantly strives to seize every opportunity to mitigate the environmental challenges faced by our production sector each day.

Buzzi Unicem and CESVI: positive impacts
11 March 2019

Buzzi Unicem and CESVI: positive impacts

A total of 17,257 new immigrants arrived on the island of Sicily during the first 10 months of 2018 (source: Public Security Department), and Sicily alone has taken in over 40% of all the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors arriving in Italy (source: Ministry of Labor and Social Policies).
During that same period, the Augusta (SR) plant spearheaded a social integration and sponsorship pilot project, with two young immigrants as protagonists.
After being taken on board, the young men had the opportunity to undergo a training program, learn a trade and make themselves useful helping in the smooth operations of the plant. It was an extremely positive and rewarding experience for all our plant employees.The young men have now been hired permanently by the company and the project will continue with new candidates in 2019. The initiative, which is sponsored by Cesvi, with funding and planning support from Buzzi Unicem, is part of a larger project aimed at initiating a number of socio-employment integration pathways for young immigrants through 6-12-month paid internship opportunities and training programs to help them enter the workforce. Buzzi Unicem’s collaboration with Cesvi underscores our policy of supporting local communities and our desire to fully integrate our activities with the territories where we operate by placing our facilities, expertise and human resources at their service.

Here is the preview of the story “Salire sul mare” (Crossing the Sea) dedicated to the commitment of Buzzi Unicem and Cesvi to support Unaccompanied Foreign Minors. 

Buzzi Unicem meets the students
07 February 2019

Buzzi Unicem meets the students

On January 15, Buzzi Unicem gave a presentation on the topic of “Bridges” to young students at the Istituto Comprensivo (comprehensive school) in Lugagnano Val d’Arda (Piacenza).
Fabio Bellantoni (Technological Development at Unical) drew from recent and historical events, and also tragic incidents, to highlight how bridges like all other structures must be maintained and recovered based on regulatory and legislative changes that are the result of subsequent discoveries and technical innovations.   
The goal of the day was to provide the students with another critical analysis tool so that they would have a better understanding of why it is often not easy or straightforward to identify the reasons for certain events, and determine whether it is right or not to talk about human error or even distinguish culpable behavior.

The students enjoyed the presentation and showed their interest by asking the speaker many questions.
Buzzi Unicem is pleased to participate in events of this kind, which are one of the best ways of communicating simply and thoroughly the technical and scientific information needed to be able to interpret various issues correctly.  

Membership in the Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC)
06 February 2019

Membership in the Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC)

In January 2019, Dyckerhoff joined the Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC), an independent body established in November 2016 by a number of international companies, associations and institutions in the concrete sector with the aim of sponsoring a new certification system to ‘measure’ the extent to which concrete manufacturing companies operate in a responsible manner.
Developed in conjunction with non-governmental organizations and numerous stakeholders, the certification system measures the sustainable and responsible sourcing of an organization by assessing a score (bronze, silver, gold), which is assigned by a third-party assessment agency based on a set of minimum requirements that must be verified and which take into account the economic and environmental impacts of not just the concrete production facilities but the entire supply chain. The main objective is to demonstrate that concrete and its constituents, including cement, are completely compatible with sustainable development.

The value of CSC certification is already recognized by the most advanced sustainability ratings systems for buildings such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and the ‘green public procurement’ policies of many governments.

As of April 2018, all the concrete plants in the Netherlands and all the cement plants in Germany, with Lengerich being the first cement plant in the country, had already obtained CSC certification (Silver level). By joining the CSC, our group is going beyond merely applying the certification system – we want to help develop it firsthand and ensure that it increases its value and effectiveness. 

Young students at the ENERSOL 2019 competition
30 January 2019

Young students at the ENERSOL 2019 competition

High school students from Pardubice, Czech Republic, participated in the international ENERSOL 2019 competition with a presentation on the ZAPA DROP pervious concrete. The goal of the competition was to raise awareness among young people about issues such as energy savings, renewable resources and the reduction of emissions from vehicles. 
ZAPA beton has been actively involved with local high schools and universities for years, developing projects that include both informative activities in the classroom and visits to production facilities. The educational programs include in-depth overviews of pouring techniques, the characteristics and advantages of special products and laboratory tests.  During these encounters, technicians, plant supervisors and ZAPA sales representatives have had the opportunity to meet students from the schools of Kladno, České Budějovice, Pardubice, Liberec, Brno, Hodonín, Valašské Meziřící and Šumperk.