For the conduct of this study, the Lebanese Standards Institution (LIBNOR) selected Holcim Lebanon (HL), a subsidiary of Switzerland-based HOLCIM Ltd, one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel). HL has an estimated 45% share of the Lebanese cement market and is the largest cement producer in the country. Having obtained environmental certification, the company pays particular attention to Water management, Treatment of waste water and Energy consumption and efficiency.
The study focuses on the following business functions: Management & administration, Procurement and Production/Operations. Due to comprehensive management systems developed by the Holcim Group, which acknowledge and exceed existing standards and combine them with other sources, it is not possible to identify the impacts of particular standards, except in the case of the clinker factor in cement production.
The key cement standard in Lebanon is NL 53:1999, Cements – Portland Cement Type P, Portland Composite Cement Type Pa with Additives, Composite Cement Type C. This standard was published in 1999 by the Lebanese Standards Institution (LIBNOR) and became mandatory on 11 March 2003 through Lebanese legislation. NL 53 has contributed to a shift in market acceptance in Lebanon for cement with a lower clinker factor, less costly to produce and more environmental friendly due to a decrease in CO2 emissions in the production process.
Although HL had the technology to produce cement with lower clinker factor before the publication of NL 53, the fact that the standard came into existence significantly reduced HL’s risk in introducing new types of cement to the Lebanese market thus contributing to improving the company's performances.
The assessment shows that standards have a visible impact on HL's operations and contribute to 2.3% of its average annual EBIT, corresponding to 0.84% of its average annual revenue for the period 2001-2011.