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Votorantim Cimentos has a decarbonization goal of 475 kg of CO2 per ton of cement by 2030, a goal approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). In 2023, the company globally emitted 556 kg of CO2 per ton of cement produced, 4% less than in 2022. Between 1990 and 2023, the cement company reduced CO2 emissions per ton of cement produced by 27%. 

The director of sustainability, Álvaro Lorenz, affirmed the company’s commitment worldwide towards decarbonization and their objective of producing carbon-neutral concrete by 2050, projecting itself as a competitive and sustainable company. 

Votorantim has invested in modernization of its plants and has increased the use of new sources of alternative fuels, replacing fossils in their cement production and meeting a global thermal substitution rate of 31% last year. The company’s goal is to reach 53% by 2030. 

Regarding energy consumption, the company has set the goal that by 2030 45% of its energy will come from renewable sources. To achieve this objective, they have implemented the Ventos do Piauí project in Brazil and the use of wind energy in Spain. In 2023, 35.1% of their electricity consumption came from renewable sources compared to 22.9% in 2022. 

A study conducted by the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research discusses the debate over the timely transition to a net-zero economy. Obstacles to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are often discussed in industries such as steel, cement and chemicals, which produce essential products for today’s economy. The cement industry is responsible for around 8% of global annual CO2 emissions and like other heavy manufacturing industries, major cement producers have set targets for their net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve these goals, it will be necessary to adopt mechanisms to reduce emissions associated with current production processes. 

The study’s numerical analysis examines the willingness of European cement companies to adopt combinations of reduction measures in response to alternative carbon prices that could prevail under the European Emissions Trading System. They found in the study that if prices continue with their average value of €81 per ton of CO2 in 2022, companies would have incentives to reduce their direct annual CO2 emissions by 34%. The same analysis showed that optimal reduction levels are very sensitive to carbon prices in the range of 80-150 euros per ton. Speaking more specifically, cement companies would optimally reduce their emissions by 78% at a carbon price of 100 euros per ton of CO2, compared to 155 euros per ton that would provide sufficient incentives for almost complete decarbonization. 

The findings of this study are generally more favorable than those reported in other studies about the cost of decarbonization in the cement production. The differences in the results are in part because the calculations made are based on new industry data that shows progess in the cost and emissions profiles of different reduction technologies. The most favorable results also reflect that cost calculations are based on an integrated optimization algorithm that selects for each reduction objective the unique and profitable combined lever from a large set of elementary levers. 


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