Page 1: Introduction
Cement was invented in England in 1824 and is a key ingredient in concrete. Every year the average family uses one tonne of cement without even knowing it. No house, school, bridge or road would be built without it.
Concrete is the second most consumed substance in the world after water. It is made from aggregate, cement and water and can be mixed on building sites or supplied readymixed from a concrete plant. The UK’s first readymixed concrete plant was set up by a company called Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) in the 1930s. In 2005, CEMEX acquired RMC.
Today CEMEX is one of the world’s largest building materials companies. It is a leading supplier of aggregates (sand, gravel and crushed rock), cement and readymixed concrete. It also produces asphalt and concrete products, and has a significant share of those markets. It operates in more than 50 countries and employs over 50,000 people.
CEMEX UK has three cement plants, 60 quarries and nearly 230 readymixed concrete plants. CEMEX’s customers range from multinational building companies to individuals building their own homes. In the UK, CEMEX generates £1 billion in annual sales. CEMEX plays an essential role in contributing to creating Britain's infrastructure, housing, schools, offices and hospitals.
This case study examines how CEMEX locates and carries out its operations in a sustainable way. Sustainable means being socially, economically and environmentally responsible to safeguard the needs of future generations.
This helps it fulfil one of its main aims - ‘to be the preferred and most efficient building materials company in the country’. It needs to ensure a good financial performance for the business. However, at the same time, it has a commitment to balancing the need for minerals against the effects of extraction and processing on both people and the environment.