Q.Hi Yuri, thank you for finding time for this interview. I know that you have a really busy schedule. Can you tell me more about Calucem and what makes them stand out in the cement industry?
Yuri Bouwhuis. Calucem is a cement factory based in Pula, and we are actually one of the world’s leading producers of calcium aluminate cement. We are known for investing heavily in our research and development activities, which has allowed us to produce high-quality calcium aluminate cements for many years. Calucem is all the time improving and investing in the stability and sustainability of the entire production process. We want to to raise and develop new environmental production standards in the industry.
Q.That’s impressive. So, what is the new ECO₂-Flex project that Calucem is working on?
Yuri Bouwhuis. The ECO₂-Flex project is a collaboration between Calucem and the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Zagreb. Its goal is to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the Calucem plant through the development of a new generation of products and an efficient technological solution that minimizes environmental impact.
Q.How will the ECO₂-Flex project benefit Calucem and its customers?
Yuri Bouwhuis. The ECO₂-Flex project is based on an innovative product as well as an improved manufacturing process, which will reduce overall CO₂ for Calucem and their customers. Additionally, the final product is an innovative calcium aluminate cement that will reduce CO₂ emissions by about 30 percent compared to similar cements currently available on the market.
Q.I see. Can you tell me more about the funding that Calucem received for this project?
Yuri Bouwhuis. Sure, Calucem received EU support from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development from the European Regional Development Fund, under the Call for Proposals “Increasing the development of new products and services resulting from research and development activities – phase II”. The total value of the project is 4.638.329 EUR, and the total amount of the grant is 1.978.835 EUR
Q.What other benefits will the ECO₂-Flex project bring?
Yuri Bouwhuis. The successful implementation of the project will bring multiple benefits for Calucem, our global customers, and the local community and economy. By reducing thecarbon footprint, Calucem is contributing to a more sustainable future, and that’s something that we can all get behind.
Q. How does Calucem plan to continue its commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint beyond this project?
Yuri Bouwhuis. Calucem is committed to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint beyond the ECO₂-Flex project. The company recognizes that sustainability is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process, and it has a long-term sustainability strategy in place. This strategy includes investments in research and development to develop new products and processes that are more sustainable, as well as continuous improvements in its manufacturing processes to reduce waste and energy consumption. Additionally, Calucem is working to establish partnerships with other organizations to promote sustainability and create a more sustainable future.
Q. How has being the first in the industry to achieve significant CO₂ reduction in products and processes impacted Calucem’s reputation and relationships with customers and stakeholders?
Yuri Bouwhuis. Being the first in the industry to achieve significant CO₂ reduction in our products and processes has had a positive impact on Calucem’s reputation and relationships with our customers and stakeholders. We are proud to be leading the way in sustainable calcium aluminate cement production, and our efforts have been recognized and appreciated by those we work with. We have seen increased interest from customers who are looking for more eco-friendly solutions, and our reputation for being environmentally conscious has helped us to strengthen our relationships with stakeholders across the board. We are committed to continuing to innovate and find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and we believe that this will only serve to further enhance our reputation and relationships in the future.