Breadcrumbs

Italy is one of the most "cement-covered" countries in Europe and in the world

In Italy as in the rest of the world, the level of urbanization is directly proportional to the needs of the population living there. With respect to land use, Italy is below the European average for residential construction (5.7% compared to the European average of 6.7%). Comparing the data to the population using the Eurostat indicator "number of rooms per inhabitant", it still appears that Italy is below the European average with 2.5 rooms/inhabitant compared to 3.2. On the other hand, the design of cities and the methods of urbanization are not the responsibility of building material suppliers, but rather the political and administrative decision-makers and the architectural proposals of urban planners and designers.

Non-natural raw materials pollute

False. According to the dictates of the circular economy, raw materials of a non-natural origin, i.e. coming from other production processes and recoverable in the cement production cycle, may contain – as well as natural raw materials - chemical elements that are also present in nature and  possible non-natural elements incorporated in the product. The concentrations of these elements are verified at the time of authorization for recovery and must be subject to the limits imposed by the permits.

The Integrated Environmental Authorizations issued to cement plants, often following stringent Environmental Impact Assessments, regulate the use of these materials and provide for their control. Moreover, the peculiar intrinsic characteristics of the cement production process, the high temperatures the raw materials are subjected to in the clinker and cement production cycle, facilitate the elimination of any non-natural compounds.

The Integrated Environmental Authorizations also regulate the plants' emission limits, which must be adapted to the sector's best available technologies (BAT) and constantly respected. At the time of authorization it may happen that stricter emission limits are imposed precisely because of the request to use alternative raw materials and unconventional fuels, further safeguarding the environment and demonstrating that the use of such materials does not worsen the plants' emission performance.

Cement is responsible for indiscriminate land use

Cement is the best antidote to land use because, unlike other materials and thanks to its resistance, it can be used to construct buildings that rise vertically. It is no coincidence that so-called "smart cities" are promoting urban models developed vertically, getting used to new skylines of skyscrapers that cannot be built without the contribution of concrete. Behind the façades and glass there are foundations and structures in concrete, a safe, durable and high-performance material, as well as technical and system solutions that respect man and the environment.

The increase in urbanized areas and the consequent increase in the use of cement in the world are directly linked to the increase in the world population and its needs.

Mature economies do not need cement because they already have all the infrastructure they need

Mature economies cannot afford to neglect the heritage of buildings and infrastructure they have inherited from previous generations. Modernization, regeneration and maintenance are the basic concepts of building management, which cannot be separated from the use of cement and concrete. Today product innovation has made available materials capable of renovating buildings with maximum effectiveness and financial and environmental sustainability.

Cement production is unhealthy

True. From a regulatory point of view, the production of cement is included in the list contained in the Decree of the Ministry of Health dated 05/09/1994, which lists the industries classified as unhealthy. The purpose of this list, as envisaged in the Consolidated Law on Health of 1934 and therefore well before today's environmental disciplines, was to identify those manufactures that produced vapors, gases or other potentially "unhealthy" fumes.

False. Today, these activities are distinguished by advanced technological and systemic solutions and subject to controls that require the implementation of effective measures to contain emissions, concretely reducing the risks.

In essence, all our cement plants, also in accordance with EU Commission Implementing Decision 2013/163, in implementation of the European Directive 2010/75 on industrial emissions, apply the sector-specific Best Available Technologies (BAT) to contain, control and mitigate impacts, and in substance to be fully compatible with the environmental context in which they operate.

As for the Decree, there are more than 200 "unhealthy first class" activities listed in it, many of which are products that we use every day. Included in the list are fruit and vegetable warehouses, fish processing and meat slaughtering, cheese production, sugar factories, canning production, paper and board recovery plants, wood and plywood production, electrical wiring and plastics production, glass processing, metal processing, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, soaps, yarns and dyes, animal husbandry, stalls, stables and feed production.