Under the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), companies in energy-intensive sectors receive free allocation to prevent carbon leakage - the migration of industry to regions without carbon pricing, or imports from regions without carbon pricing. In the absence of a global carbon price, it is necessary for national or regional carbon pricing systems to provide this effective protection against carbon leakage in order to avoid deindustrialisation and create local incentives to reduce emissions.
As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal in July 2021 to reform the European Emissions Trading Scheme, in combination with the introduction of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). HeidelbergCement supports this ambitious measure as an important step towards climate neutrality, and as an incentive for innovation and for more investments in emission reduction technologies. The so-called CBAM is necessary in order to continue to ensure a level playing field between EU-based manufacturers and importers on the basis of CO2 pricing. At the same time, new product standards and political stimuli in procurement schemes are needed in order to build up demand for new, low-emission building materials.
HeidelbergCement continuously invests in plant modernisation and energy efficiency measures, and thus makes an active contribution to achieving the European emission reduction goals - in line with the European Emissions Trading Scheme. In Germany alone, we have invested around €400 million in the modernisation of our plants and the reduction of our CO2 emissions in recent years. In addition, we have made further investments in other European countries, about which we provide information in our Annual Report and as part of our communications activities. Over the next 10 years, we will continue to heavily invest in climate protection and promote further projects to scale up climate-friendly technologies.
HeidelbergCement thus sees itself as a pioneer in the cement industry in the fight against climate change, and has reduced specific CO2 emissions by 23% since 1990: from 750 kg / tonne of cement (1990) to 576 kg / tonne (2020). By 2025, the CO2 emissions are to be further reduced to around 525 kg / tonne of cement.