Sustainable performance in the construction industry
A CEMEX case study

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Page 2: Sectors of industry

 There are three main sectors of industry.  CEMEX’s business covers all three sectors of industry:

  • Primary – involves extraction, processing and use of raw materials from the earth
  • Secondary - manufacturing finished goods and construction activity
  • Tertiary – providing services to business and consumers, e.g. retail, finance and transport.

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Primary activities

In its primary activities, CEMEX extracts raw materials from the land or at sea. The process of extracting mineral deposits has to fit in with the government’s Regional Minerals Plan. This specifies how much material needs to be extracted to ensure a fair balance across the country.

Before extraction can begin, CEMEX must obtain permission from local authorities. Its plans must include sensitive ways of working, restoration and after-care of sites. This ensures the quality of the environment is maintained and improved once extraction is complete.

CEMEX’s marine aggregates business involves extracting sand and gravel from the sea bed by dredging. Dredged aggregates are vital for the future development and maintenance of our hospitals, schools, housing and transport infrastructure. They also help to replenish Britain’s beaches and protect the coastline from erosion. The UK government regulates marine dredging to minimise impact on the environment.

Secondary activities

As part of its secondary activities, CEMEX has three plants making cement. Heating clay and chalk fuses the raw materials together. The resulting materials are ground to powder as cement. The cement plants need permits from the industry regulator, the Environment Agency. CEMEX also produces readymixed concrete, asphalt and concrete products in specialist plants. These require planning permission from local authorities and are also regulated by the Environment Agency.

Tertiary activities

In the tertiary sector CEMEX is one of the UK’s top 20 logistics operators. It makes more than four million deliveries each year by road, rail, sea and inland waterways. CEMEX distributes raw materials and finished goods to customers for the construction of houses, schools, hospitals, bridges, offices and transport links:

  • Aggregates provide the base for all types of construction products.
  • Cement is sold in bulk to make readymixed concrete and concrete products and in bags to builders’ merchants for individuals to buy.
  • Readymixed concrete and concrete products are sold to residential, commercial and public contractors.

CEMEX | Sustainable performance in the construction industry
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