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Cement Industry Awareness Day: The Industry Makes A Major Breakthrough

Thanks to R&D, new Contempra™ cement helps reduce CO2 emissions

MONTREAL, November 9, 2011 – As part of the Cement Industry Awareness Day intended to highlight the sector’s economic benefits to Quebec, the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) today presented the industry’s most recent progress in the fight against climate change to a group of Members of the National Assembly in Quebec City.  The CAC hopes to draw greater attention to the major contribution made by Quebec’s cement industry to the economic development of the province ? a contribution which is also consistent with the Government’s sustainable development principles.

Baudouin Nizet, spokesperson for the CAC, described the benefits of Contempra™, a new category of cement that reduces the environmental footprint associated with cement production, contributing to the Government of Quebec’s objectives for mitigating climate change. “Contempra™ reduces CO2 emissions by 10% while at the same time producing concrete with strength and durability comparable to that of conventional Portland cement. It reflects the industry’s commitment to innovation and the development of environmentally responsible products that meet the current needs of our communities,” explained Mr. Nizet.

Mr. Nizet also told participants that the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) generated by the heating of cement kilns can be reduced by making greater use of alternative fuels such as biomass instead of traditional fossil fuels, a major source of GHG. “The level of energy substitution in the Quebec cement industry is currently about 25%, and it will be possible to reach the target of 50% by 2015. Greater use of biomass, a renewable resource which is plentiful in Quebec, is key to this energy substitution,” added Mr. Nizet.

Significant economic benefits

Cement is a strategic product essential to Quebec’s economic security and to the renewal and development of its infrastructures. Cement is the key component of concrete, the world’s most widely used building material, recognized for its durability, strength, versatility, environmental and energy-saving qualities and for its contribution to sustainable development.  Another important advantage of cement is that it is manufactured and sourced locally. The CAC’s Quebec member companies produce about 2.5 million tonnes of cement annually. The cement and concrete industry in Quebec employs about 7,000 people and generates annual revenues of more than $1.9 billion. The Quebec cement industry is a significant economic driver in the regions where it operates.

“The cement industry is well aware of the environmental issues facing our society today. We have long expressed our desire to work closely with the Government of Quebec to help it achieve its GHG emission targets. We have already reduced our GHG emissions by 6% between 1990 and 2010. With the support of dynamic policies that encourage energy substitution, and depending of course on the adoption rate for Contempra™, we believe we can further reduce emissions by an additional 5% by 2015,” concluded Mr. Nizet.

About the Cement Association of Canada

The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is the voice of Canada's cement manufacturing industry, a vital contributor to the country's economy and infrastructure. The industry provides a reliable, domestic supply of cement required to build Canada's critical infrastructure including our network of roads and bridges, homes and buildings, waterworks and dams. The CAC and its members are committed to the environmentally responsible manufacturing of cement and concrete products. CAC's members are CalPortland, Ciment Québec, ESSROC Italcementi Group, Federal White Cement Ltd., Holcim Canada, Lafarge Canada, Lehigh Hanson Canada and St Mary’s Cement Group—companies whose parent corporations belong to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Cement Sustainability Initiative. The cement and concrete industry contributes more than $8 billion in annual sales and over 27,000 direct and indirect jobs to the Canadian economy.


See related Canal Argent interview with Baudouin Nizet, CAC spokesperson regarding the Cement Industry Awareness Day in Quebec


Me Michel Binette, LL.B., M.A.P.
Vice president, Legal, Public and Government Affairs? Quebec and Atlantic Region
Cement Association of Canada


Lyse Teasdale
Director, Communications
Cement Association of Canada
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Serge Vallières
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