Video on Cement Production

Cement in a nutshell

A section to make simpler and more immediate concepts and words that may appear complex or not very familiar.

Acid Rain

Acid rain is a serious environmental problem that affects large parts of the United States and Canada. Acid rain is particularly damaging to lakes, streams, and forests and the plants and animals that live in these ecosystems.

Additional Indicators

Additional Indicators are those Indicators identified in the GRI Guidelines that represent emerging practice or address topics that may be material to some organizations but not generally for a majority.

Air pollution

Air pollution comes from many different sources such as factories, power plants, dry cleaners, cars, buses, trucks and even windblown dust and wildfires. Air pollution can threaten the health of human beings, trees, lakes, crops, and animals, as well as damage the ozone layer and buildings. Air pollution also can cause haze, reducing visibility in national parks and wilderness areas.


Acronym : Associazione Italiana Economico Tecnica del Cemento (Italian Technical Economics Association of Cement). Since 1959 it has been the association representing Italian cement production companies.

Alternative Fuel

Waste from different industrial processes which, due to its high calorific power and low level of polluting substances, can be used as a partial replacement for other fuels in some combustion processes.

Alternative Raw Materials

Waste from different industrial processes which, due to its high calorific power and low level of polluting substances, can be used as a partial replacement for other fuels in some combustion processes.

Atmospheric Emission

Any solid, liquid or gaseous substance introduced into the atmosphere from industrial plants, residential heating systems, transport systems (i.e. automobiles, airplanes) and which could cause atmospheric pollution.


Acronym. Best Available Techniques. Means technical and/or organizational measures explained in BREF report preset for the european cement sector by IPTS institute in Sevilla in march 2000.


Variety of living formulas in an environment, result of the evolutionary process, guarantee of stability and index of the ecological value of an environment.


Non-fossil material of a biological origin, such as agricultural and forestry residues, by-products and waste from the agriculture and food industries, which can be used to produce energy and thus reduce dependence on fossil sources such as oil.


Acronym. Reference Document on Best Available Techniques.


Chemical reaction of a fuel with a combustible material, often producing carbon oxides, water vapor and thermal energy.

Caloric Substitution

The use of alternative fuels (CDR, exhausted oils, animal meal, etc.) instead of traditional fuels, saving the non-renewable energy sources and reducing pollution.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Colorless, flavorless, odorless gas that is heavier than air and produced in all combustion and respiration processes and in the decomposition of organic material, through the complete oxidation of carbon and the decarbonization of limestone. It is a natural component of the atmosphere, vital for plant life and practically inert. Transparent in sunlight, CO2 absorbs the infrared rays emitted by the earth’s surface which leads to the so-called “greenhouse effect”.

Carbon Oxide (CO)

Gas produced by the incomplete oxidation of carbon.


The European Cement (Industry) Association.


Hydraulic binder, or a material that binds together all the other minerals, granules or other components of rock. It reacts when mixed with water forming a mass that gradually hardens. There are two types of cement, namely natural cement which is obtained by processing cement marl, and artificial cement in which the marl is replaced by other mineral raw materials to reconstruct the chemical structure of cement.


Clastic sedimentary rock consisting mainly of tiny colloidal particles of aluminum silicate hydrates and very fine sandy detritus.


Produced by burning calcareous marl or a mixture of limestone and clay. It appears as a granulated material in pieces. Adding gypsum or anhydrite and then grinding the material will produce cement.


Solid fuel, rich in carbon and deriving from the decomposition of organic, mainly vegetal substances in the absence of air. The decomposition may occur naturally (natural coal) or be caused by heating (artificial coal).


Most used building material in the world. Aggregates, cement, water, admixtures and other components are mixed together to get a paste that remains workable for a certain time and is transported, usually in a truckmixer, to the construction site. Any kind of structure can be obtained when the concrete is hardened.

Skilled selection and proportioning of components leads to limitless combination of performances both in fresh and hardened stage.

Content Index

A GRI content index is a table or matrix that lists all of the Standard Disclosures, and where responses to the Disclosures can be found (page number or URL). Reporting organizations can also add reference to organization-specific Indicators (non-GRI Guidelines). The Content Index provides users with a quick overview of what has been reported and increases ease of report use. A Content Index is especially important if some of the Disclosures appear in other reports, such as a financial report or previous sustainability reports.

Continuous Improvement

Process of improvement of Management Systems, based on which a company, in line with its policy, commits to periodically setting new goals and milestones and to verify that they have been achieved in order to gradually and continuously improve its performance. This approach is also referred to as the Environmental Management System.

Core Indicator

Core Indicators are those Indicators identified in the GRI Guidelines to be of interest to most stakeholders and assumed to be material unless deemed otherwise on the basis of the GRI Reporting Principles.

Corporate Governance

Process of improvement of Management Systems, based on which a company, in line with its policy, commits to periodically setting new goals and milestones and to verify that they have been achieved in order to gradually and continuously improve its performance. This approach is also referred to as the Environmental Management System.


Industrial process in which the size of the material that is being crushed, such as quarried materials, is reduced to millimeters.


Acronym. Cement Sustainability Initiative.

Decibel (dB)

Measurement of the intensity of an acoustic oscillation or hearing sensation.


Dioxins are a class of organic chlorinated aromatic compounds. Dioxins are not very volatile due to their high molecular weight and are fat-soluble. These characteristics tend to make them accumulate in living tissues. Laboratory experiments on animals show that dioxin is one of the most toxic anthropic compounds.


The term ‘downstream entities’ is based on the concept of a production chain that extends from the extraction of raw materials to the use of a good or service by an end-user. ‘Downstream’ refers to those organizations that play a role in the distribution or use of goods and services provided by the reporting organization, or, more generally, play a role in a later step in the production chain than the organization itself.


Dust is the generic term used for material that is formed of minute particles with a diameter of 0.25-500 µm. Dust suspended in air (atmospheric dust) has important effects on the climate, the development of radioactivity and on human health.

EAS (Ecologia, Ambiente e Sicurezza)

Acronym. It. for Health, Safety & Environment.


Characteristic resulting from processes aimed at minimizing the negative impact of industries. It also refers to the responsibility of man and his actions toward the environment and its resources.


Basic ecological unit consisting of all the animal and vegetal organisms that form a specific ecological environment.


Acronym. EcoManagement and Audit Scheme.

Emission Trading

A “flexible” tool based on which the emissions permit market was created between countries that are bound by the Kyoto Protocol to achieve the established objectives of reducing emissions. It allows operators to acquire emissions permits from other operators that are also bound by the emission reductions requirements.


Discharge of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance introduced into the ecosystem that can directly or indirectly cause an impact on the environment.

Energy Saving

Effect of measures taken by the producers and users of energy to limit the waste of energy by improving energy efficiency (obtaining the same product with less energy) and by using the most appropriate energy source for the required end use.


All the chemical and physical characteristics (abiotic factors) of the context in which an organism exists or a company operates. As a whole, the environment includes the air, the water, the earth, the natural resources, the flora, the fauna, the human beings and their interrelationships.

Environmental Certification

Certificate issued by external auditors that certifies the Environmental Management Systems adopted within a production plant. Environmental Certification may refer to international standards (ISO 14001) or European (EMAS Regulation) standards.

Environmental Impact

Any positive or negative, total or partial, change made to the environment as a result of the actions, products or services associated with a particular activity.

Environmental Management System

This is the part of a company's overall management system that includes organisational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining an environmental policy.

Environmental Recovery

Action aimed at restoring a particular area as close as possible to its existing conditions before the intervention of man. It also involves geomorphologic remodeling in consideration of the surface water hydrology and the reintroduction of pre-existing arboreal species.

Environmental Side

Element of the activities, products and services of an organization that can interact with the environment.


Acronym. Environmental Protection Agent.


Acronym. Environmental Product Declaration.

Fossil Fuel

Produced by the transformation undergone by large forests that were buried millions of years ago. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum and natural gas.


Acronym. Full Time Equivalent. Indicator that identifies workers on a full-time contarct or those who work for a total of 40 hours per week (as per CCNL).

GBS (Gruppo di studio per il Bilancio Sociale)

Social Reporting Study Group: Italian national association for the scientific study of social reporting and corporate social responsibility.

Greenhouse Effect

Physical phenomenon that traps in the atmosphere part of the energy from the earth’s surface, which otherwise would be lost in space. It is dependent on the presence of several gases in the atmosphere (the so-called greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), perfluorocarbons (PFC), hydrogenous fluorocarbons (HFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and helps maintain an ideal temperature on earth. Anthropic activities may lead to an increase in the presence of these gases and along with this the greenhouse effect, leading in turn to climatic changes in the medium-term.


Acronym. Global Reporting Initiative.

GRI Reporting Framework

The GRI Reporting Framework is intended to provide a generally accepted framework for reporting on an organization’s economic, environmental, and social performance. The Framework consists of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the Indicator Protocols, Technical Protocols, and the Sector Supplements.


An industrial process that involves grinding any type of solid material, reducing it to a powder, granules or a semi-fluid paste the size of microns.

House Organ


The company’s internal communication tool.

Hydraulic Binder

Minerals which, when mixed with water, gradually harden to form solid bodies that have the same strength properties as the hardest rock. Cement is a hydraulic binder.


Large class of organic compounds composed of carbon and hydrogen that appear in a liquid, gaseous or solid state, such as methane, acetylene, benzene and paraffin. They are the main components of petroleum and natural gas.


Planting process of herbaceous plant seeds together with water, vegetal compost and peat, fertilizers and tackifying agents by pumping the mixture onto rocky surfaces and irregular material (pebbles, sand).

Independent Board Member

Definitions for ‘independent’ can vary between legal jurisdictions. Independent usually implies that the member has no financial interest in the organization or other potential benefits that could create a conflict of interest. Organizations using the Guidelines should state the definition used for ‘independent’.


Any informative parameter that represents a complex phenomenon concisely and directly.

Indicator Aspects

The general types of information that are related to a specific Indicator category (e.g., energy use, child labor, customers).

Indicator Categories

Groupings of sustainability topics or broad areas. The categories included in the GRI Guidelines are: economic, environmental, and social. For example the social grouping is categorized in terms of Labor Practices, Human Rights, Society, and Product Responsibility. A given category may have several Indicator Aspects.

Indicator Protocol

An Indicator Protocol provides definitions, compilation guidance, and other information to assist report preparers, and to ensure consistency in the interpretation of the Performance Indicators. An Indicator Protocol exists for each of the Performance Indicators contained in the Guidelines.

Internal Auditing

Corporate function that performs independent consultancy and audit activities to evaluate the adequacy of a company’s internal control system.


Acronym USA. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

IRSA (Istituto per la ricerca sulle acque)

Acronym. Water Research Institute. National institute within the CNR (Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche – National Research Council), which performs research in the area of water resource management and protection.

ISO 14000

A series of environmental management and life-cycle assessment standards that have been published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) since 1996. These standards are one of the reference points offered to companies that want to implement Environmental Management Systems for their production activities.

ISO 9001

Voluntary international standard published by the International Organization for Standardization in 1987 regarding Quality Management System requirements for organizations in any sector and of any size. The current edition after the first version in 1994 is also known as Vision 2000.

Joule (J)

Unit of measure of energy and work in the International System, equal to the work done by the force of 1 newton when its point of application is moved 1 meter in the direction of the force.

Kyoto Protocol

Voluntary agreement that came out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (1997), in accordance with which industrialized countries agree to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5% with respect to the 1990 levels during the period 2008-2012.

Limestone (CaCO3)

Sedimentary or metamorphic rock composed of calcium carbonate. Calcareous rock can often contain other minerals such as siliciferous and arenaceous limestone.


Acronym. Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate.


Acronym. Lost Time Injury Severity Rate.


Very fine, yellowish-gray sedimentary rock formed from limestone and clay. It is used in well-defined proportions to prepare cement and hydraulic limestone.


Product obtained by grinding raw materials, appropriately measured and added to other elements. It is fed to the kiln where it turns into clinker after decarbonation and sinterization.

Methane (CH4)

Fossil fuel. Although incorrect, it is a frequently used term for natural gas, of which it is the main component.


Unit of measure of concentration that is used for atmospheric pollution macros; it indicates the weight in milligrams of substances present in a cubic meter of air under normal conditions (temperature of 0°C and 1.013 bars of pressure).


Acronym. Mineral Components.


It is differentiated from a quarry by the type of material extracted. Category 1 materials are extracted from mines (e.g. cement marl).


All the activities performed to quantify the parameters that indicate environmental quality (e.g. air, bodies of water, subsoil).


Acronym. Non-Governmental Organization.

Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)

Gases produced, among others, by the oxidation of atmospheric nitrogen or the nitrogen contained in fossil fuels. Nitrogen oxides may act synergistically with other gases in the air and they participate as “precursors” in the formation of photochemical oxidants (ozone, organic peroxides). After sulfurous anhydride they are the most widespread aggressive pollutants of the atmosphere and together they cause “acid rain”.

OHSAS 18000

Acronym. Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series refers to a series of standards for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems published by BSI (Brithish Standard Institution) since 1999.

Oil/water separation

Purification process of waste water to remove the oils and fats present. Legislative Decree 626/94–Legislative Decree 19/09/1994 n. 626- Implementation of directives 89/391/EEC, 89/654/EEC, 89/655/EEC, 89/656/EEC, 90/269/EEC, 90/270/EEC, 90/394/EEC and 90/679/EEC to improve health and safety in the workplace.

OO.SS. (Organizzazioni Sindacali)

Acronym. It. for (Workers) Unions.

Ozone (O3)

Unstable gas whose molecule consists of three atoms of oxygen. It has strong oxidizing power. It performs an important role in the radiance balance of the atmosphere.


Acronym. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Aromatic hydrocarbons with several benzene rings, some of which are classified as being carcinogenic for humans. They are contained in benzenes and can derive from incomplete combustion.

Performance Indicator

Quantitative or Qualitative information about results or outcomes associated with the organization that is comparable and demonstrates change over time.

Pet Coke

Carbonious product obtained from mineral oils by thermal fission.


Process that usually follows seeding or hydroseeding and which consists of bedding out medium to tall herbaceous plants, bushes and trees in ground that has already been prepared.


Alteration of the physical, chemical and biological properties of a balanced environment by human activities. Pollution may involve the soil, water and air. Pollution is also an alteration of the cycles of matter and the flows of energy of ecosystems. In particular, atmospheric pollution derives from the presence of substances in the air in higher concentrations than the minimum threshold deemed harmless, and which can diminish the physiological wellbeing of man and cause damage to vegetation, animals and objects. Transborder pollution is caused by polluting emissions that spread beyond the borders of a country.


Natural materials composed of volcanic or sedimentary deposits which possess hydraulic properties due to their rich mineralogical content of SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3 and other oxides.


Cementitious products, especially mortars, composed of cement mixtures and aggregates measured and bagged in the appropriate proportions for use in specific applications such as interior and exterior finishes to complete the structural work.

Profile Disclosures

The numbered information requirements in Part 2 of the Guidelines that set the overall context for reporting and understanding organizational performance.


A quarry is a deposit, or a part of the land containing raw materials that can be exploited for industrial purposes. A quarry is distinguished from a mine by the category of material extracted: category 2 materials are extracted from quarries (e.g. limestone, clay, gravel, sand). Limestone, for example, belongs to this category of materials and is extracted from quarries.

Quarry Exploitation

Quarry extraction activities.


Acronym. Refuse-derived fuel. Fuel obtained from the dry component of municipal solid and similar waste (paper, plastic, textile fibers, etc.) after being treated to separate other recyclable materials. Subsequent processing cycles ensure adequate calorific power and reduce the presence of metals, glass, inert and putrescent materials and dangerous substances for combustion purposes. Further treatments include crushing, drying, compressing and palletizing. CDR may be composed of up to 50% in weight of tires and non-chlorinated plastic scrap to increase its calorific power.

Ready-Mix Concrete

Construction material obtained by mixing inert materials (sand, gravel, stone chips) with a binder (lime or cement) in the presence of water and additives. It is used in all sectors of the construction industry, especially for load-bearing structures and road paving, and often reinforced with metal (reinforced concrete usually known as reinforced cement).

Reporting Principle

Concepts that describe the outcomes a report should achieve and that guide decisions made throughout the reporting process, such as which Indicators to respond to, and how to respond to them.

RLS (Rappresentanze dei lavoratori per la sicurezza)

Acronym. It. for Workers Representations for Safety.

RSPP (Responsabile Servizi Protezione e Prevenzione)

Acronym. It. for Security and Prevention Service Officer.

Sector Supplement

Sector Supplements complement the Guidelines with interpretations and guidance on how to apply the Guidelines in a given sector, and include sector-specific Performance Indicators. Applicable Sector Supplements should be used in addition to the Guidelines rather than in place of the Guidelines.

Sewage sludge

Sewage sludge comes from purified municipal waste water. According to the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) updated by Council Decision 2000/532/CE, sewage sludge is classified as non-dangerous waste, in other words it is not contaminated by substances that can render it dangerous for man and the environment. It can be disposed of in three ways: agricultural use after being composted, dumped, or recycled as an energy source in clinker kilns for cement.


In petrography the term shale means a metamorphic rock with a medium-large grain characterized by a fairly distinct schist-like structure, or the tendency to split into thin slabs. Schist results from the transformation of clay subjected to high pressure and temperatures in which the micaceous crystals (usually representing about 50% of the schist) are arranged precisely in one direction creating the above layers, known as planes of schistosity.


Granulated slag from the processing steel (granulated blast-furnace slag) is composed of complex aluminum, calcium and magnesium silicates and small quantities of manganese and iron oxides and calcium sulfate. They are used as additives to clinker in the production of cement due to their hydraulic properties.


Parties who hold an interest of any kind in the company and who interact with its activities, participating in its results, influencing its performance, and assessing its economic, social and environmental impact.

Standard Disclosures

There are three types of Standard Disclosures: strategy and profile Disclosures that set the overall context for reporting and for understanding organizational performance; Disclosures on Management Approach cover means how an organization addresses a given set of topics in order to provide context for understanding performance in a specific area and Performance Indicators that elicit comparable information on the economic, environmental, and social performance of the organization. The Guidelines present topics and information for reporting that are material to most organizations and of interest to most stakeholders.

Sulphurous Anhydride (SO2)

Gas present in emissions resulting from the use of sulfur-containing fuels, usually derived from petroleum and coal.

Sustainable Development

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED definition in the report Our Common Future, 1987). Sustainable development is a form of development (which includes the economy, cities, communities, etc.) that does not compromise the ability of future generations to continue developing by preserving the quality and quantity of their heritage and natural reserves (which are exhaustible, while resources are considered inexhaustible). The aim is to maintain economic development that is compatible with social equality and ecosystems, thus operating in a system of environmental balance.


Acronym. Ton petroleum equivalent. 1 TPE = 41.86 GJ (using average value of Crude Petroleum’s Higher heating values).

UNI (Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione)

Italian standards organization, responsible for the transposition of EN standards in Italy. It represents Italy in regulatory activities of supranational standards organizations: ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation).


The term ‘upstream entities’ is based on the concept of a production chain that extends from the extraction of raw materials to the use of a good or service by an enduser.‘Upstream’ refers to those organizations that play a role in the supply chain of the reporting organization or, more generally, play a role in an earlier step in the production chain than the organization itself. Fordefinitions of words or concepts contained directly in the wording of the Indicators, see the Indicator Protocols.

Vendor Rating

The corporate process by which suppliers are evaluated.


According to Legislative Decree 152/06, waste is any substance or object that falls into the categories described in the attachment to the decree and which the holder is discarding or has decided or is required to discard. Depending upon its origin, waste is classified as municipal waste or special waste and depending upon its characteristics, as dangerous waste or non-dangerous waste.

Waste Water

Waste water resulting from industrial activities or household waste. Waste water may also be discharged into the environment after it has been treated appropriately.

Watt (W)

Unit of measure of the power of work in the International System; 1 watt is equal to a power rate of one joule of work per second of time.


Acronym. World Business Council for Sustainable Development.


Acronym. Working Group Cement.