Sustainability @Cement

Clean and Green- our foundations for a profitable and happy growth story.


Our commitment to sustainability led us to join CSI, a sector Initiative of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The initiative ensures continual monitoring, comparing and benchmarking of our performance of key sustainability issues in cement sector defined by CSI. As a group, we produce cement with carbon intensity lower than global and Indian averages. Our eastern operations produce one of the lowest carbon intensity blended cement.

We also believe efficient waste utilisation is an area that has huge potential and can contribute tremendously in the cement sector in India, where alternative fuel consumption rate of Indian Cement Industry is negligible as compared to global average.

In our efforts to reduce environmental impact, we are focusing heavily on clinker factor improvement in blended cements and exploring opportunities to increase usage of alternative fuels which are discarded as waste and byproducts products by other industry sectors.

We are undertaking projects that aim to improve our performance in areas such as carbon footprint, alternative fuel use, water and occupational health and safety.

To foster our human capital and increase happiness quotient at our workplace, we are also involving our employees through awareness creation, capacity building, training them for certification in areas of continuous improvement and bringing them to the forefront as we work on delivering solutions together along with other stakeholders - the results we believe will build our resilience and positively impact the organisation's future.


Key Sustainable Measures

We aim to mitigate GHG emissions by means of employing alternative fuels, energy efficiency and clinker factor improvement. We have taken various greenhouse gas-reduction initiatives which include installation of a biogas plant in Kadapa, reduction in vehicle running distances and increased green belt cover across all its manufacturing plants.
In order to further improve our performance, we are continuously partnering with various associations and institutions. For instance, DCBL became a member of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) in 2012.

Technology is a key pillar in the cement industry's drive to reduce emissions and energy consumption. One of the key enablers of DCBL's low carbon growth is blended cements - helping the company reduce energy consumption and GHG footprint per tonne of cement. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of Quality Control, R&D and Process Optimisation teams that led to the increase in production of blended cements using higher percentage of fly ash and slag as clinker substitutes. As a result, DCBL reduced the clinker factor to 0.64 in FY 2014-15.

We also partnered with World Bank's Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) to support emissions reduction and investments in cleaner technologies. We are engaging with Carbon Pod India Limited to encourage eco-driving and reduce logistics fuel consumption. This project is planned to kick-start on pilot basis in which select drivers will be identified to understand their behaviour and vehicle efficiency through an online GPS system which shall provide real time updates. Recently, we partnered with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to implement CSI India Roadmap recommendations for low carbon technologies.

Currently, we are capturing and monitoring emissions data of all our cement plants, captive power plants and mines under scope-1 and scope-2 emissions, emissions due to purchased clinker to calculate under scope-3 emissions based on Cement CO2 and Energy Protocol tool. Going forward, we are also developing processes and systems to capture emissions from logistics and transportation for capturing scope-3 emissions so that further emission reduction opportunities can be identified and implemented

Alternative fuels:
We make every attempt to utilize industrial waste and by-products with recoverable calorific value in cement kilns. We have been using various types of alternative fuels which includes paper waste, paint sludge, rubber waste, carbon black powder, spent carbon, dolachar etc. This resulted in a significant reduction in costs along with a reduction in carbon footprint and strengthened our 'Green Initiatives'.

Alternative fuel utilization at our Kadapa plant
Our Kadapa unit took an initiative to replace conventional fuels in pre-calciner by developing of an in-house fuel handling mechanism for Carbon Black at Kadapa. The cost-effective system consisted of an unloading system, dust control system and feeding system. The project resulted in utilization of waste rubber (Carbon Black) in the pre-calciner with feeding rate up to 14 ton/hour. The initiative also helped in reducing coal mill operating hours and power consumption.


Alternative Raw Materials

Due to increasing competition, lower cost realization and price volatility, it is important for us to optimally utilize our resources so that our production costs are controlled. We have undertaken a number of interventions to replacement of natural resources used in the production of cement by utilization of the waste and/or by-products generated from other industries operating in the proximity of our cement manufacturing plants. In order to reduce our environmental footprint, we have started using waste and by-products containing suitable minerals.

In our efforts to reduce energy intensity of cement, we are utilizing fly ash as blending material in Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) and slag as blending material in Portland Slag Cement (PSC). Using Blended Cements for making concrete, significantly improves the product properties in terms of strength, workability, durability and heat of hydration. Our clinker factor percentage has also improved from 81.2% in FY 14 to 64.1% in FY 15 due to production of Portland Slag Cement (PSC) in our product mix as a result of strategic mergers and acquisitions.


Incremental waste ustilization in our eastern India operations
Although, our Rajgangpur, Medinipur and Kapilas units were producing 100% blended cements, there was potential for incremental addition of fly ash in PPC and blast furnace slag in PSC. To harness this opportunity, we made concerted efforts to add higher percentages of slag and fly ash while maintaining the product quality.

This resulted in a significant clinker factor improvement in FY 2014-15 as compared to FY 2013-14. The initiative helped in safe disposal of additional 3,38,326 ton blast furnace slag from steel industry and 9,620 ton fly ash from our captive power plant. After accounting the landed slag price and handling costs, the project resulted into substantial cost saving along with avoidance of 3,35,199 t CO2 emissions in FY 14-15.


Safe Workplace

Employee well being and health is one of the most important components for happy work environment and safer operations. We have put a systems in place to establish medical fitness of our employees and contractors to perform their jobs. Our Occupational Health Centers (OHC) are equipped with health services and offer periodic health check-ups which includes tests like X-Ray, Audiometry, ECG, Lung Function, etc. These health related check-ups are supervised by our doctors and other external specialists on regular basis. We have also identified high risk areas of operation to ensure that such workforce undergo necessary check-ups more frequently.

As part of our incident management system, we ensure that all incidents are reported, aberrations investigated, statistics maintained, compared and improvement projects are taken up on an ongoing basis. We prioritized the need for continuous learning, innovation and creativity by drawing out an annual plan in the area of safety and environmental training for all employee categories covering all relevant subjects.

Elements of Safety

  1. Safety observation ad audits
  2. Contractor safety management
  3. Incident investigation
  4. Standard and procedure

We have formed a safety committee headed by senior management personnel. The safety plans and the action points are reviewed every month in the meetings involving the unit head, who is the APEX Committee Chairman. We have also conducted a SHE (Safety, Health and Environment) audits through Dupont across our southern plants to identify areas of improvement. In addition, the formal joint management-worker health and safety committee operates at each unit in which equal representation from workers and employees is ensured.

We have adopted several best practices such as line manager responsibility for safety, Driver & Contractor Safety initiatives along with implementation of Dupont Model in southern plants. In coming years, we plan to replicate these practices in our other units as well. As a reflection of our safety management systems, our units have been recognized with safety awards at various occasions. We have taken up a new initiative to make our plants and colony tobacco free area.

We have adopted several best practices such as line manager responsibility for safety, Driver & Contractor Safety initiatives along with implementation of Dupont Model in southern plants. In coming years, we plan to replicate these practices in our other units as well. As a reflection of our safety management systems, our units have been recognized with safety awards at various occasions. We have taken up a new initiative to make our plants and colony tobacco free area.

However, despite our efforts, unfortunately in FY 2014-15, one fatality occurred at Bokaro Unit. Following this accident, an enquiry team was set-up to find the root cause and implement the actions to avoid such incidents in future.

Road Safety


At DCBL, we take into consideration the wellness of our stakeholders and focus on holistic social development. To this end, we have taken initiatives towards conducting awareness camps for truck drivers on best practices on oil usage, and general safety practices in vernacular languages. We provide our truck drivers with behavioural change program through "Defensive Driving" trainings to follow best practices on road safety and minimize risk-taking behaviour among truck drivers for optimal transport operations. In addition, we also plan to conduct health campaigns for truck drivers such as HIV awareness and testing camps and occupational health and safety training programs.

We also assess our drivers based on the CSI Road Safety Checklist, a comprehensive checklist of 31 indicators, which not only covers screening of vehicles based on its efficiency but also assesses driver's understanding on defensive driving, knowledge of road safety and speed limits.

Safety best practices adopted at our plants:

  1. Behaviour Based Safety
  2. Work Permit System
  3. Worker Access Cards
  4. Gate Entry Systems
  5. Traffic Codes
  6. Contractor Safety Performance
  7. Safety Field Audits
  8. Live safety demo in monthly
  9. Gate meeting
  10. Monthly SHE Newsletter
  11. Monthly Safety Campaign
  12. House Keeping Audits
  13. Drivers Safety Training
  14. Fire Mock Drills
  15. Reflective jacket for loaders
  16. Cleaning workers at packing
  17. Plant area
  18. Implementation of Lock-out
  19. Tag-out (LOTO) system
  20. Tracking of SHE score cards at units
  21. Handbook on safety standards
  22. Implementation of fall arrester
  23. Inter carting Vehicle Condition
  24. Checking & Monitoring
  25. Safety Quiz at monthly gate meetings
  26. Safety trainings for employees and visitors

Safety Awards and Recognition

  1. Prize in Mines Zonal Safety Competition, Kadapa, 2014
  2. CII EHS award - 4 star rating, Dalmiapuram
  3. Greentech Silver Award, 'Safety Category', Ariyalur Unit
  4. 2nd prize in Best Safety Practices -by CII & Directorate
  5. of Factories

We have taken various initiatives to reduce stack dust emissions by installing technologies such as reverse air bag house (RABH), electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) and nuisance bag filters. To reduce fugitive emissions, we have taken initiatives such as installation of covered sheds for raw material storage, bag filter at transfer points, water sprinklers and road sweeping machines. Most of our plants have invested in continuous online monitoring systems (CEMS) that monitor stack emissions for SPM, SOx, and NOx at kiln stack and SPM at other major stack. We are also in process of installing continuous online monitoring systems in our remaining units thereby fulfilling our commitments. In addition to stack emissions, we also monitor air emissions through our ambient air online monitoring systems.

Conserving Biodiversity

When we plan to open a new plant or mine, we go through a rigorous preparation process which includes a thorough assessment of the potential impacts of the new plant on local people, nearby ecosystems and habitats, as well as water and soil erosion. We also consult openly and sensitively with our local stakeholders, so that we can achieve a balance between their needs and our own. Once the site becomes operational, we work in partnership with local community to monitor, manage and protect local biodiversity. As per the environmental impact assessment study conducted for our operations, none of our operations are located near areas of high biodiversity value or protected areas. We have also enhanced our responsibility quotient through our drive for environmental conservation that has resulted in cumulative plantation of over 860,000 trees. Recently, we joined India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The initiative will help us in mapping, understanding, sharing of our best practices and implementing other's best practices on biodiversity management.

Image Gallery

Glimpse of CSI CEO Meeting

Glimpse of United Nations - High-level Signing Ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change