Holcim New Zealand is firmly committed to the principles of sustainable development in its use of natural resources, and has made a significant effort towards achieving the highest possible level of environmental performance.  The following initiatives demonstrate this commitment, and were integral in Holcim New Zealand recently being awarded ISO 14001 certification – an international standard specifying the requirements for an effective environmental management system.

Westport Works – CO2 Reduction Using Alternative Fuels

case study 2_photo2.jpgTen years of environmental monitoring data was recently reviewed by Holcim New Zealand.  Emissions test data for the kilns operating with coal alone was compared with emissions data from the kiln where used oil is co-processed with coal.*

The results confirmed that co-processing of used oil has helped reduce the emissions of CO2 at Westport Works when compared with using only coal for process heat.  Furthermore, it had little other effect on kiln stack emissions, which were well within international limits.

* Halliday, L. Slaughter, G. Rynne, M & Bluett, J. (2007). Ten years of the New Zealand used oil recovery programme, Proceedings of the 14th World Clean Air and Environmental Protection Congress (IUAPPA). Brisbane, Australia. 2007.

Westport Quarry - Long-Term Rehabilitation

Holcim New Zealand’s Westport quarry recently won the 2007 Aggregate and Quarry Association’s Environmental Excellence Award for quarry rehabilitation. 

The project reflects Holcim New Zealand’s long-term commitment to environmental performance, and was initially designed in the 1980s to mitigate the visual impact of quarry operations.  However, its objectives quickly grew to incorporate biodiversity aspects of the quarry and its surroundings – these include indigenous forest, a lake within the area of the quarry workings and adjacent wetlands.

The overall goal of the rehabilitation is to restore a mosaic of indigenous forest and wetlands, with 60ha of the total 100ha area so far converted into regenerating and rehabilitated growth.

The rehabilitation concept is based on four key sustainable principles:

1)    Rehabilitation should mimic natural forest regeneration;
2)    Direct human contact is to be minimised;
3)    Rehabilitation will be concurrent with quarrying operations; and
4)    Cost must be well managed.

The land being restored has been divided into zones based on their specific ecological make-up.  The most ecologically sensitive of these is the coastal restoration zone adjacent to the endangered New Zealand fur seal and little blue penguin colonies.

The project has had scientific input from its earliest stages through the School of Forestry at Canterbury University.  The university supervised projects assessing the re-establishment of native species in the quarry environs and has presented reports on the success of the quarry so far.  This work will form the basis for ongoing monitoring work to provide a long-term understanding of the results of the programme and hopefully establish the site as an important example of rehabilitation.

The additional resources provided and commitment of Holcim employees over the past 20 years has been an example of dedication and continuing effort.