Aware that encouraging the loyalty of our workforce enables us to develop talent, we endeavor to give our employees job stability: 94% of our staff are on open-term contracts. To provide our employees with career opportunities within Vicat, we also provide training and give preference to internal promotion. In the rural and 'peripheral' communities where we work, we are recognized as an enduring, inclusive employer.
the proportion of alternative fuels used in our cement plants in 2018
Close to 80%
of the water required to wash aggregate is from recycling systems installed in our quarries
of our quarry sites have a natural restoration plan
Our research for reducing Vicat's carbon footprint
Several actions have been carried out under our low-carbon roadmap aimed at reducing our carbon footprint:
- implementation of new, less energy intensive organizational methods,
- integration or development of new technologies derived from our research and development, such as the gasifier at the Créchy cement plant or the Lynx e-hauler developed in Switzerland,
- better use of our materials for the construction of housing or transport infrastructures.
We have also joined Shift Project, a French body specializing in energy transition.
Our in-house workgroup known as 'CO2', made up of representatives of each of our businesses, oversees actions already taken around four aspects:
- reduction of energy consumption,
- harnessing the waste heat of our facilities,
- repurposing our waste, particularly biomass, as energy or raw materials,
- marketing of 'low-carbon' constructive solutions and products.
Did you know? In Senegal we appointed specialist photovoltaic contractor Urbasolar to build a solar farm to power our cement plant in Rufisque.
Reducing energy consumption
Our general policy calls for optimization of our energy consumption through two types of action:
- increasing the share of recycled materials used as raw materials in our manufacturing processes,
- changing Vicat's energy mix so as to use more renewable energies.
The results of the change in our energy mix are very significant: the share of alternative fuels has risen sharply (+25.2% in 2017, +25.6% in 2018). Our two most virtuous plants in this respect have particularly high substitution rates: 87.3% for Reuchenette (Switzerland) and 77% for Créchy (France).
Circular economy centered on production processes
To optimize the use of natural resources (raw materials and water) needed for our production processes, we have adopted a circular-economy strategy. Over many years we have also developed industrial expertise for harnessing the materials and energies available where we work. This includes work on new technologies for modernizing industrial processes in order to spare natural resources as much as possible.
Our Vicat Circulère offering
Launched at the Pollutec 2018 trade fair in France, our Vicat Circulère offering provides stakeholders in construction, as well as local authorities, with an innovative, virtuous made-to-measure solution based on three things:
- local management of construction site waste,
- repurposing of local energy-rich and mineral waste in cement plants,
- site redevelopment using repurposed local waste.
Through this enterprising, environmentally responsible, and profitable undertaking, Vicat is able to industrialize judicious use of raw materials and repurposing of waste.
Preserving biodiversity in our quarries
Because our business activities, especially in quarries, place on our shoulders a burden of responsibility with respect to biodiversity, we have taken a stand in favor of natural balances. Consequently we strive to:
- minimize the effects quarrying has on natural surroundings,
- create new habitats favoring the establishment of different species, whether during the quarrying phase or subsequently.
We are accustomed to working in these fields with a number of stakeholders, e.g. local authorities, nature associations, hunters’, anglers’, and farmers’ federations.
Did you know? Vicat is a member of the Natural Capital Accounting workshop of the Business and Biodiversity platform stemming from the European Union’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020.
Did you know? Through the Odyssée program in France we aim to provide wild bees and other pollinators with optimum living and breeding conditions in our quarries and at our batching plants and cement plants. In 2018 work performed under the program resulted in:
- planting of a second conservation orchard of 43 trees on a 3,500-m² site in France, in conjunction with association Les Croqueurs de Pommes,
- installation in quarries and at batching plants of 15 concrete ‘bug-hotel’ planters where wild bees can nest.
What is the next project? Use of a new concrete to make these planters; trials with France’s national institute for agricultural research (INRA) are under way.