Cement as part of concrete, the fundamental building material, is a part of the world around us – it is everywhere we live. It is in the roads we travel on, the pavements we walk on, the buildings we work in and the schools our children attend.

Besides the benefits for infrastructure, residential buildings or architecture, we also endeavour to minimize the negative impact of the cement industry.

What is the basis of the focus of our members when enforcing the principles of the sustainability?

Members of the ZVC (ASCP) play important roles as significant partners for the local communities in which they operate. Some of the members have already been part of the communities for decades. For example, Považská cementáreň, a. s. Ladce is the oldest cement plant in Slovakia. Generations of the local employees at the cement plant have been producing top-quality cement for more than 130 years, thus contributing towards improvement of quality of life in Slovakia and elsewhere. Another example is from CRH Slovensko, which has given such a positive input to the local community that Rohožník, the town where one of their cement plants is located, has almost doubled the number of its inhabitants village the cement plant was establishment in 1975. Moreover, via the support community programme called “Our Rohožník”, the company continuously supports the further development of the village.

Cement as a building material is the heart of concrete, which is undoubtedly the material of the future. In cooperation with experts, we work on raising the awareness about the ecological and sustainable advantages of this building material. Our members support various activities focusing on cooperation with well-known architects and university students, and also work on raising the interest in building material production careers among high school students. Our members are partners of distinguished, prestigious events focusing on the support of quality and sustainable architecture such as CE-ZA-AR or the ARCH Prize. Another type of activities which contribute towards raising the awareness about the quality of Slovak cement are professional forums where the representatives of our member companies regularly participate as lecturers or speakers. Považská cementáreň Ladce has been the main partner for the regular meetings of leaders of the Slovak building companies for several years. Representatives of the member companies are invited as experts to regular autumn concrete producers’ days, which is an event organised by the association of Slovak transport-concrete producers. Members of the ZVC (ASCP) were also included in important activities organised by the Ministry of environment of the Slovak Republic during the presidency of the EU (2016) or in the currently active grant programme called the Green education fund where CRH (Slovensko) a.s. is the partner.

The endeavour of our members is to be not only a substantial employer in the regions where we operate but also to embody a trustworthy local partner that strives to have an open and constructive dialogue with its external and internal partners. We try to continuously develop relationships with state authorities, local municipalities and the public and we want to be a good neighbour and caring employer. Via the activities and funds of our members, such as the grant programme Náš Rohožník, the Green education fund, the CEMMAC fund or the Cementár training centre, our association focuses mainly on support of educational, cultural and sports activities for its employees. The association also supports local projects which create appropriate conditions for the development of children and youth, including socially disadvantaged groups, brings changes to the educational process while contributing towards active environmental protection, safety or other types of projects for community development.

Besides systematic transparent support via grant programmes and funds, the cement plants also support the surrounding villages directly, for example, by building a multi-sport centre with a tennis centre or a football stadium. Building material from the cement plants has been used for the modernisation of elementary schools, preschools, pavements or community cultural centres. Positive feedback was received after the building of a pilgrimage site in the quarry of the cement plant on a hill called Butkov, which was created by the cement plant in Ladce with the support of the AGAPA foundation. It is an original artwork that represents timeless values. Helping the communities where the companies operate is one of their fundamental principles.

Criteria of reliability and stability of ZVC (ASCP) members are confirmed by the successful audits of the quality management systems in accordance with the current ISO norms. Another way how our cement plants contribute towards environmental protection is shown through their efforts to install modern technology with the ambition to maximise the utilisation of alternative fuel as well as eco-friendly technology.

ZVC (ASCP) members significantly participate in the waste recovery process, which brings not only material and energy savings, but the waste is incinerated without negative effects on production quality or on the environment.

Based on the status of the cement industry within the low-carbon economy project of the EU, we will implement the outlined measures in the following fields by 2050: