Environment & Climate Change

CRH is committed to the highest standards of environmental management in all of our activities and to proactively addressing the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

Environmental policy:

The CRH Environmental Policy, applied across all Group companies, is to:

  • Comply, at a minimum, with all applicable environmental legislation and continually improve our environmental stewardship towards industry best practice
  • Ensure that our employees and contractors respect their environmental responsibilities
  • Proactively address the challenges and opportunities of climate change
  • Optimise our use of energy and all resources
  • Promote environmentally-driven product and process innovation and new business opportunities
  • Be good neighbours in every community in which we operate.

Environmental management

Company and plant managers throughout CRH are responsible for implementing the Environmental Policy and achieving its objectives. This line responsibility continues right up through company Managing Directors to Divisional Managing Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and ultimately to the CRH Board. Our environmental management systems are well established and are regularly reviewed taking into account industry best practice. Knowledge-sharing around the Group also plays an important part in this process.

Environmental performance

CRH is committed to investing in a wide range of environmental improvements across all of its activities and countries of operation. Plant upgrades typically include process yield optimisation, increased recycling, waste reduction, energy efficiency and emission reduction. This sustained investment program steadily moves us towards best industry practice in all those areas.

Because of the diversity of our businesses, most environmental targets are set at operating company level. In all cases, our aim is to optimise environmental performance.

Environmentally-driven product innovation

In tandem with CRH’s commitment to act as a socially responsible corporate citizen, the Group views the development of products that specifically benefit the environment, together with the enhancement of existing products to improve their eco-efficiency, as a significant business opportunity. Significant environmental and commercial benefits are also gained through recycling, waste reduction and resource management as well as the use of alternative raw materials and alternative fuels.

Climate change

CRH recognises that climate change is a major challenge facing humanity and is committed to playing its part in developing practical solutions at national, regional and global level. Like other responsible players in the building materials sector CRH is very actively addressing the challenges of climate change through specific CO2 reduction programmes in its worldwide operations. CRH is a core member of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and actively supports its pioneering work in developing and promoting industry solutions. CRH has endorsed the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Low Carbon Technology Partnership Initiative (LCTPi), a statement of ambition, which seeks a reduction in global cement CO2 emissions in the range of 20–25% by 2030.

In 2012, three years ahead of the target date, CRH achieved its commitment to reduce specific carbon dioxide emissions from cement plants by 15% on 1990 levels. CRH is now committing to a 25% reduction in specific net CO2 cement plant emissions by 2020 compared with 1990 levels and is confident that its strategic programmes will deliver this commitment on target. The 2020 commitment covers cement plants within the CRH Group at the beginning of 2013 and includes facilities in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.

In all our activities, increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions remains a major focus. CRH sees climate change and high energy costs as twin innovative driving forces of the future and we recognise that the challenges of today can quickly become the opportunities of tomorrow.

Read more in our 2015 Sustainability Report