18 Oct 2010

CEMEX and BirdLife complete groundbreaking study of biodiversity in operations worldwide

By Martin Fowlie

CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) has announced the results of a comprehensive scoping study on the biodiversity status of its operations worldwide undertaken in conjunction with BirdLife International, as part of a ten-year global partnership signed in 2007.

The objective of the study is to facilitate a process that aims to enhance biodiversity conservation and development throughout CEMEX operations. This process contemplates that all operational sites that overlap with areas of high conservation value will develop or strengthen biodiversity action plans within the next five years.

The study mapped 543 CEMEX aggregates and cement sites and assessed their proximity to areas of high biodiversity value, such as international and national Protected Areas, Important Bird Areas (IBA), Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) and Natura 2000 sites. Then, the biodiversity management plans of each site were assessed, followed by a prioritization of which sites had the highest biodiversity sensitivity. Twelve sites were identified as areas where conservation efforts should be focused first.

"Our ability to operate and access raw materials in a given location requires that we effectively protect, manage and enhance the biodiversity of the area as well as an effective site life-cycle development plan", says Luis Farias, Senior Vicepresident of Energy and Sustainability at CEMEX. "This study is a vital part of our ongoing efforts to enhance habitats and to ensure that biodiversity thrives around our operations."


"The Biodiversity Scoping Study is a great example of constructive collaboration between business and a conservation NGO", said BirdLife's Chief Executive Marco Lambertini. "It will help guide and inform conservation interventions across CEMEX's operations, starting with the most important and sensitive sites, as well as forming the basis for promoting the sustainable use of natural resources more widely, and strengthening our relationship still further."

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Among the practical outputs of the study are maps and databases that provide detailed information on the biodiversity features of each operational site. This knowledge will enhance site-level land management decision making.

The partnership is already implementing projects at high priority sites in the United Kingdom and Spain, where bilateral CEMEX-BirdLife partnerships are being developed. With the help of BirdLife, CEMEX is also developing a Biodiversity Action Plan standard to help in the development and implementation of site-specific Biodiversity Action Plans at the 12 priority sites. Wherever possible, these plans will involve the national BirdLife Partner organizations. The target is to have Biodiversity Action Plans established for all sites which overlap with areas of high biodiversity value by 2015. CEMEX will regularly report progress on implementing the findings of the scoping study and on the production and roll out of the action plans.

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through its efforts to pursue innovative industry solutions and efficiency advancements and to promote a sustainable future. For more information, visit www.cemex.com

Image credit: Jonathan Stacey