CO2 emissions

The CO2 emissions, most of which have been and continue to be emitted over the past 150 years in connection with the development of our society, are recognized as one of the triggers for the increasingly evident climate change on our planet. Developed and developing countries in particular are contributing to this in order to meet people's growing expectations with respect to jobs, goods, housing and mobility. This has created an unacceptable imbalance between the benefits of economic development and negative environmental impacts. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, is a central concern of modern society.

In order to meet this expectation, the German government has defined firm reduction targets for greenhouse gases and also set the long-term objective in the "Climate Protection Plan 2050". At the European level, too, reduction targets for the EU-28 were set and monitored by the EU Commission. These targets are currently undergoing a fundamental review as part of the European Green Deal. The goal is to reduce the net emissions of greenhouse gases in the European Union to zero by 2050, making it the first continent to become climate neutral. A key instrument for monitoring and reducing industrial emissions is the EU emissions trading system established in 2005, which covers power plants and industrial facilities. On the basis of defined upper limits (caps) and corresponding annual reduction targets, it is ensured that the reduction targets are achieved. The companies in the lime industry have been part of the emissions trading system from the outset and fully support the reduction targets for CO2 emissions.

What does this mean for us as SCHAEFER KALK?

Lime is an important and indispensable raw material for numerous production processes and products. These include steel production, a large number of chemical processes (including the manufacture of basic materials for plastic products), construction materials, waste water treatment and drinking water purification, exhaust gas purification, paper production, sugar production and many more. For most applications, there is currently often no or no qualitatively and economically comparable alternative to the use of lime.

The production of burnt lime is an energy-intensive process in which, in addition to the emissions from the fuels required for this purpose, CO2 is also released in the conversion of natural limestone to burnt lime. These process emissions are chemically induced and therefore, initially, cannot be reduced. In order to reduce fuel emissions, SCHAEFER KALK has already invested extensively in modern kilns in the past, which currently represent the state of the art with a thermal efficiency of around 85. In the area of electricity consumption, too, we are continuously investing in efficient machinery and equipment to further optimize our energy consumption. Within the framework of a certified energy management system, we are continuously working on reducing our electricity and fuel consumption.

One element in the reduction of emissions that should not be underestimated is the local supply of our plants with raw materials from our own quarries and the regional proximity to our customers. This avoids long transportation by truck and reduces CO2 emissions. We deliver large quantities by rail wherever possible for the customer.

However, we are aware that we cannot achieve the reduction targets set with the measures and efforts mentioned above. New technologies are necessary to achieve climate-neutral lime production. These relate, on the one hand, to the use of renewable energies for electricity and heat generation. On the other hand, they include the separation of CO2 in order to return it as a raw material to subsequent processes, for example in the chemical industry, or to integrate it permanently into products.

To drive the development of these technologies forward, we are in close contact with universities, research institutes and other companies. We support and accompany specific ideas and projects.

Our corporate initiative is supplemented by research projects and studies, which are controlled in the sense of an industry solution via the European Lime Association EULA and the Federal Association of the German Lime Industry BVK.