Customer and industry engagement

Nearly 50 representatives from major customers and key trade associations attended our October 2017 sustainability workshop held at the Institution of Structural Engineers in London. The meeting was hosted by CEO Daniel Cooper and national sustainability manager Martin Crow and provided an update on business, corporate strategy and the economy, along with a progress report on performance against a range of sustainability targets.

The afternoon session featured two presentations on product development and innovation delivered by Dr Wolfgang Dienemann, HeidelbergCement’s head of global research and development and Enrico Borgarello, who heads the Group’s global product innovation team in Bergamo, Italy.

As a result of these presentations a visit was arranged for a major customer to HeidelbergCement’s ilab in Bergamo where much of our global product research is carried out. We were also able to assist another customer by tapping into the wide ranging technical expertise available within the product innovation team.

In addition to the stakeholder workshops, we ran a series of Continuous Professional Development seminars for architects, engineers and other specifiers about ground granulated blast furnace slag, a cement-replacement material which we market under the brand name Regen.

In 2017, we started using BRE’s life cycle assessment tool called LINA to enable the development of product specific Environmental Product declarations (EPD) in line with EN 15804, the European standard for the sustainability of construction works. The standard considers the environmental impact of a product through its whole life from raw materials and manufacturing to application, use and disposal. We are developing the tool to suit our specific business needs and by the end of the year had developed EPDs for eight generic concrete mixes. We are also developing a sector-wide template for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in partnership with the Mineral Products Association.