Our people
At a glance FY2009 FY2008
GHG emissions (million tonnes) 3.62 3.941
Energy (million GJ) 28.65 31.99
Mains Water (million litres) 2,285 2,820
Waste recycled/re-used/external
waste consumed (million tonnes)
4.62 5.58
NOx (tonnes) 6,3082
SOx (tonnes) 1,8372
Dust (PM10) (tonnes) 2,9032
1 In Boral's 2008 Sustainability Report, Boral's 2007/08 GHG emissions were reported
   as 3.79 million tonnes. This restated figure reflects new reporting methodologies
   in Australia and the USA, enhanced data collection and review processes.
2 NOx, SOx and dust data is for 83 sites which account for over 80% of Boral's
   total greenhouse gas emissions. Boral's remaining sites are below the NPI and
   TRI thresholds.

Boral's approach to managing the environment is detailed in the Managing Sustainability section.

Environmental performance
An important part of Boral's environmental strategy is to ensure that our people have the right knowledge and capabilities to perform their job and protect the environment. During 2008/09, Boral's employees continued to receive the latest internal environmental training via 16 business-specific environmental awareness training sessions (to 107 employees), one session on sustainable development (to 27 managers) and 11 environmental management sessions (to 89 employees). Numerous sessions were held with senior management teams on the continually developing area of energy and climate change. Business-specific environmental training takes place across the organisation; Australian Construction Materials has begun the roll-out it's Environmental Management System.

In 2008/09, the corporate Environmental Services team carried out its fifth annual internal environment conference in five states. This year the conference highlighted state-specific issues, best practice sustainability management and shared learnings across the organisation. A total of 75 employees from across Boral's businesses attended.

Audit and assurance programs are an important part of Boral's EMS. In 2008/09, Environmental Services undertook 43 compliance and/or systems corporate audits, and nine acquisition and divestment audits. Business-specific auditing takes place across the Company. For example, Australian Construction Materials completed 283 internal environmental short-form and 49 third party audits. In the USA, Environmental Management System audits were conducted at 33 locations; this is part of the three year re-audit program for some 70 operating sites. To date, 61 locations have been audited and 1,260 issues identified, of which 72% have been completed.

In our Thailand and Indonesian businesses, best practice standards, auditing protocols and hazard/action registers to monitor closing out of actions are maintained. Our Indonesian business has continued to conduct an internal HSE audit program, auditing 14 plants during the year.

During 2008/09, Boral incurred nine Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) in Australia (resulting in $19,921 in fines) for environmental contraventions. Six PINs were issued for minor or technical non-compliances including: contraventions of development approvals relating to polluting of waters; the release of high pH waters and sediments into the stormwater drainage system; a concrete spill which resulted in the pollution of waters; and dumping of concrete wastes as fill.

Three PINs were for issues detected in early 2007 at BCSC Berrima cement works, which resulted in extensive audits by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and the NSW Department of Planning and agreed corrective action plans.

Boral Australian Gypsum Ltd was convicted in March 2009 in the NSW Land and Environment Court for a water pollution offence. A fine of $58,500 was imposed and $23,000 paid for prosecution costs for the likely polluting of the Parramatta River with low hazard surfactant. An electronic level sensor probe failed to switch off supply from an external bulk tank, overflowing a smaller batching tank and containment bund. There has been extensive re-engineering of the process at the site to prevent any possible recurrence, and more aggressive hazardous liquids risk assessments are being applied across the division.

There were no fines or prosecutions in the USA or Asia for environmental contraventions in 2008/09.

Energy use and GHG emissions
Boral's operations consume a significant amount of energy and some businesses are particularly energy intensive. In 2008/09, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Boral's fully owned businesses in Australia, the USA and Asia totalled 3.62 million tonnes of CO2. In addition, approximately 0.18 million tonnes of CO2 were emitted from Boral's equity share of joint venture businesses.

In 2008/09, there were an additional 122,000 tonnes of CO2 as a result of: increased reporting scope, including additional contractor data required under NGERS; landfill gas emissions that were previously unreported; and emissions from the Oklahoma construction materials business which was acquired during 2007/08. Excluding the increased reporting scope, Boral's absolute GHG emissions in 2008/09 decreased by 8% year on year. This decrease in emissions largely reflects lower production resulting from the significant housing market downturns in the USA and Australia. Emissions from Boral's US operations were down by around 41% on a comparable basis or around 147,000 tonnes of CO2. In Australia, emissions were down 150,000 tonnes of CO2 or around 4%. And in Asia, Boral's GHG emissions were down 22% or around 16,000 tonnes of CO2.

All divisions, with the exception of Plasterboard, reduced their absolute emissions during the year largely as a result of the market downturn. Plasterboard's emissions increased marginally due to the commissioning of the new Pinkenba plant, which for a period of time required two plants to be operating in Queensland before the Northgate plant was decommissioned.

During the year, most of Boral's plants were operating well below capacity and a program of rolling plant shutdowns was implemented in most businesses to manage inventory levels and reduce production to match lower demand levels. Alternative fuel and energy efficiency improvements that have been implemented across the business will deliver greater benefits as market volumes recover and production lifts.

In Boral's Quarry business in Australia, efficiency gains of 2% were delivered during the year, reflecting continued energy audits and energy efficiency programs.

The distribution of Boral's energy use and related GHG emissions across Boral's businesses is summarised in Figure 16. In 2008/09, around two thirds of Boral's emissions were from the Blue Circle Southern Cement business (BCSC). Approximately half of BCSC's emissions were from calcination, the chemical process of forming clinker from limestone at high temperatures. In addition to GHG emissions from calcination of limestone, some 2.2 million tonnes of emissions per annum result from Boral's electricity, gas, coal and diesel consumption.

To achieve an industry-specific best practice score of 3.0, Boral's businesses taken together should be able to demonstrate that the following goals have been achieved:

BSDT element Our goals
and climate
  • Involved in voluntary, industry sector energy efficiency or greenhouse programs including target setting;
  • looking at alternate technologies to lower emissions;
  • have systems in place to measure emissions; and
  • can demonstrate positive performance trends when being compared with peers.
extraction and
  • Have consumption and cost savings tracking integrated into business reporting systems;
  • undertake water risk assessments for all sites;
  • incorporate reduction targets for key sites;
  • achieve performance improvements; and
  • demonstrate positive performance trends when being compared with peers.
Waste and
recycling and
  • Monitor waste streams across key operational areas and report on these relative to operational efficiency;
  • conduct risk analyses to determine risks and opportunities associated with waste management and resource allocation;
  • incorporate waste reduction targets for key sites;
  • introduce approaches to improve the sustainability performance of products throughout their lifecycle; and
  • demonstrate meaningful improvements in key areas.
  • Have management systems in place and well-trained people to prevent land contamination;
  • evaluate land contamination risks and have systems in place to identify land contamination hazards and risks and to manage contaminated land liability holistically; and
  • have a good understanding of rehabilitation conditions with completion plans for site closures.
and ecosystem
  • Have undertaken comprehensive biodiversity investigations and implemented protection plans for all relevant sites.

In 2008/09, GHG emissions from cement clinker production per tonne of cementitious material sold declined by 1% and remain around 10% below 1990 levels. Emissions per tonne of clinker production was steady reflecting fuel efficiency gains offsetting inefficiencies associated with lower production, Refer Review of Operating Divisions - Cement and Construction Related Businesses. The reduction in emissions per tonne of cementitious material sold reflects increasing use of cement substitute materials such as fly ash and slag and kiln efficiency gains over a longer timeframe.

Divisional performance provides more detailed energy and emissions efficiency data specific to Boral's businesses.

In 2007, we set a climate change target to at least hold Boral's absolute greenhouse gas emissions steady and to offset any increase in emissions associated with market demand growth by reducing emissions per tonne of production. On a comparative basis, Boral's emissions in 2008/09 were 8% below 2006/07 emissions.

Boral's cross-divisional and cross-functional Energy and Climate Change Technical Working Group (ECCTWG) has been in place since January 2007. The ECCTWG reports to Boral's Management Committee and continues to manage a range of activities to prepare the business for future climate change impacts and an emissions trading environment.

Boral's businesses have undertaken a broad range of projects to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and we have identified abatement opportunities in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternate fuels and alternate materials. These potential projects have been consolidated into an overarching abatement cost curve to assist in prioritising opportunities and capital investments. The implementation of these abatement opportunities is dependent on the anticipated cost of carbon in a trading environment, the costs to Boral for implementing identified abatement initiatives and available technologies.

Boral's GHG emissions
Boral's energy use and related GHG emissions
1 In Boral's 2008 Sustainability Report, Boral’s 2007/08 GHG emissions
   were reported as 3.79 million tonnes. This restated figure reflects new
   reporting methodologies inAustralia and the USA, enhanced data
   collection and review processes.
2 In 2008/09 reporting scope was increased to align with NGERS. Additional
   scope includes emissions from Boral's Deer Park Landfill operation, and
   previously unreported transport contractors and non-operating sites.
3 Restated 2006/07 and 2007/08 GHG emissions is based on the inclusion
   of additional NGERS reporting scope and methodology updates as used
   for 2008/09 data.

For a longer-term solution, we need to see the development of new technologies and fuel options. We are actively engaged in trials to develop such technologies. For example:

  • During the year we doubled the number of concrete agitator vehicles from five to 10, in our trial to use compressed natural gas (CNG) rather than diesel. Results continue to indicate a significant cost reduction opportunity and a reduction of around 7% in GHG emissions per tonne of concrete delivered.
  • In July 2009, through BCSC we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work with Greenearth to explore geothermal energy opportunities at our Waurn Ponds cement works. The Waurn Ponds region is the most favourable prospect for hot sedimentary aquifer geothermal exploration in Victoria due to the proximity of the inferred resource to market. Whilst it is early days, it is possible that the project has potential to provide baseload renewable energy, low electricity distribution costs and carbon geological sequestration.
  • Geological sequestration or carbon capture and storage has a number of location-specific constraints that may make it unworkable at many cement manufacturing works. There may be more potential in algal "biosequestration", which is an area of focus for the global cement industry. Through the Cement Industry Federation, Boral is actively involved in global benchmarking and sharing of knowledge in this area at an international level.

Boral has been an active participant in voluntary energy efficiency and emission reduction schemes for more than a decade, including:

  • Greenhouse Challenge Plus (member since 1997).
  • NSW SEDA Energy Smart Business Program.
  • DRET's Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) Program (covering 18 sites representing 80% of Boral's emissions in Australia).
  • NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (NSW GGAS).
  • EPA Victoria Greenhouse Program (now Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans).
  • NSW Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability's (DEUS) (now DECC) Energy Saving Action Plans.
  • Californian Climate Action Registry (covering US Tiles).

Participation in these schemes generally requires Boral's businesses to establish improvement targets and develop action plans, which are audited as part of the program.

Boral is one of only seven elective benchmark participants in the NSW GGAS scheme that receives Large User Abatement Certificates (LUACs) for reducing GHG. Boral has created more than 637,000 LUACs since 2005, saving more than 163,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2008. Under the NSW GGAS Scheme, Boral also created around 62,500 NGACs in 2008 for reducing electricity consumption at Berrima and generating renewable electricity at our landfill operations (Boral Waste Solutions) in Victoria, avoiding the production of around 62,500 tonnes of CO2.

Boral Waste Solutions commissioned its third "Biogas to Energy" module at Deer Park in April 2009. This facility uses landfill gas to produce renewable electricity which is exported into the national grid. Commissioning of the third 1.1 MW generating module brings total electricity export capacity to 3.3 MW, which is sufficient to provide the electricity needs of around 3,000 homes.

For more details on Boral's GHG emission targets and a discussion of the impacts of the Government's proposed CPRS and EITE assistance, refer to the Message from the Managing Director.

In addition to reporting in this Sustainability Report, Boral reports externally on climate change risks through the Carbon Disclosure Project. Refer to CDP7 at www.cdproject.net. Also see the Cement Industry Federation's website: www.cement.org.au.

8 Star House Perth's 8 Star House

9 Star House “Harmony 9” - Melbourne's 9 Star House

Working with partners to build energy efficient housing
Boral supplied Envirocrete™, ENVIRO™ plasterboard and Boral Silkwood engineered hardwood flooring into Australia's first 9-star energy rated house named Harmony 9. Harmony 9, designed by Australian company Mirvac Design, is estimated to reduce energy use by nearly 85% relative to a 5-star house.

Boral worked with Mirvac to trial and develop a unique recycled concrete slab floor incorporating 100% recycled aggregates and 60% cement substitutes. ENVIRO™ plasterboard was selected as it incorporates a minimum of 10% recycled material and has been independently accredited under the Australian Ecolabel Program. Boral Silkwood was selected on the basis of its Australian Forestry Standard certification ensuring the timber is sustainably sourced from certified and legal forestry. The use of recycled and sustainable construction materials decreases the embodied energy in the construction materials.

In 2008 Midland Brick, in collaboration with Think Brick, Jade Projects and other industry participants, built a display home with an energy efficiency rating of 8-stars. The double-brick house design reduces energy use by nearly 50% relative to a 5-star house, the current minimum standard for homes constructed in Western Australia. The house is readily available in Western Australia at an affordable price range of $210,000 to $250,000.


Other emissions
Data on pollutant emissions for 69 of Boral's Australian facilities is reported to the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) annually, as required under the NPI National Environmental Protection Measure. This data is available at www.npi.gov.au. In the USA, 16 Boral sites report their releases and transfers of hazardous and toxic chemicals on the annual Toxic Release Inventory as required under The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) 1986 and the Pollution Prevention Act (1990). This data is available at www.epa.gov/tri. For more information see "At a glance" table above .


Boral's mains water consumption

Water management
Boral recognises the need to manage our valuable water resources. Throughout our operations we rely on water for our manufacturing and maintenance processes, to suppress dust, for cleaning and for sanitation.

We use water from a range of sources, including mains/town water, ground/bore water, surface water (including rainwater) and on-site recycled water (as shown in the Sustainability Data Table). Mains/town water usage is material to Boral.

A total of 2,285 million litres of mains water was used by Boral's 100% owned and controlled businesses in Australia, the USA and Asia in 2008/09. Mains water use was down 22% on a comparative basis on the prior year (Figure 19) due to the increased use of rainwater, lower production volumes and water efficiency gains. Approximately 81 million litres of mains water was consumed by Boral's equity share of joint venture businesses in Australia.

A breakdown of mains water usage by division is shown in Figure 20. Details of divisional water usage and improvements is provided in the divisional performance pages.

Since 2007, numerous Boral sites in Australia have participated in formal water conservation programs in partnership with governments and/or water authorities. For example, in New South Wales Boral Plasterboard is classified as a high water user (>50 megalitres per year) by DECC and was required to submit a Water Savings Action Plan during the year, which is currently under review. Plasterboard’s Port Melbourne plant has incorporated water savings initiative into its Environment Resource Efficiency Plan (EREP). Port Melbourne's water savings initiatives have been installed and are scheduled to be commissioned; the initiatives are estimated to reduce the site's mains water consumption by 10%.

In Western Australia, Midland Brick has been a voluntary participant in the Water Corporation’s Water Achievers program for a number of years and was one of the first businesses to submit and have approved its Water Efficiency Management Plan. However, due to lower than average rain fall in the area and increased demand on water in 2008/09 for a major construction project at the Middle Swan site, no change on prior year's usage was achieved. Midland Brick continues to target a further 10% reduction per tonne of standard brick equivalent by 2012 in addition to the 20% reduction already achieved in 2006/07 and 2007/08.

Waste, recycling and re-use
Boral Waste Solutions' landfill site at Deer Park in Victoria is one of the largest landfill sites in Australia. Deer Park received more than 500,000 tonnes of commercial and municipal waste in 2008/09. Of this, around 4% was green waste which was recycled or composted to produce manufactured topsoil.

Throughout Boral, an estimated total of 4.62 million tonnes of waste and by-products was re-used or recycled in 2008/09, down 17% year on year reflecting lower production volumes. We measure waste from our production processes based on a combination of quantitative waste data where available, mass balance calculations or estimations through sampling. We also measure the proportion of this waste that is re-used
or recycled and, in general, Boral's businesses re-use or recycle between 38% and 114% of the production waste that they generate in the year (ie some businesses consume more waste than they produce in a year by reducing stockpiles).

Our own returned waste materials re-used to produce the same product include concrete washout slurry, recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), plasterboard waste from production and building sites, brick bats and bricks from customers' sites, and green and cured masonry product. External waste products or secondary resources that we use to manufacture our products include: cementitious waste materials and byproducts in cement, crushed demolition concrete in new concrete ("Envirocrete™") and granulated used tyres in LoNoise™ Asphalt. Information on some of Boral's sustainable products can be found on Marketplace & Supply Chain and www.boral.com.au/buildsustainable.

Boral's businesses only deal with very minor amounts of hazardous waste and this is managed in accordance with government regulations. Similarly, we only use relatively small amounts of packaging, as the vast majority of our products are delivered in bulk.

Two types of Boral's businesses are based primarily on the utilisation of other people's waste – Boral Recycling in Australia and our fly ash operations in the USA and Australia – BMTI and Blue Circle Ash through Fly Ash Australia (50% Boral-owned) respectively. The fly ash businesses process coal-fired power station waste to provide fly ash
as a supplementary cementitious material in cement and in concrete, and bottom ash as drainage, filter and fill materials (eg "EnviroAgg®").

The Boral Recycling business processes construction and building waste in combination with concrete washout, RAP and natural rock, and markets a variety of products including road bases, pipe-bedding, backfill and aggregates.

More information about the amount of waste produced and recycled by Boral's businesses is provided in the divisional performance pages and included in the Sustainability Data Table.

Water Re-use

Examples of waste recycling and re-use
At Blue Circle Southern Cement's Marulan lime kiln, a kiln dust automated pneumatic conveying system was installed in 2008, allowing the recycling of kiln dust into lime products. The Marulan kiln loses about 7% of its production volume as kiln dust generated by lime crushing into lime products. The project has resulted in a decrease in lime manufacturing costs; a 7% decrease in greenhouse gases from lime manufacturing activity; and a saving of $100,000 per annum in lime dumping costs.

The cement kiln at Blue Circle Southern Cement's Waurn Ponds site is using at least 10,000 tonnes of contaminated foundry sand, salvaged from automotive manufacturing facilities, as a direct replacement for freshly quarried sand. This sand is usually disposed to landfill each year. The project received EPA approval following trials which demonstrate that the resin contaminant present in the sand is destroyed in the manufacturing process and results in no increase in emissions.

In the USA, the small Best Block masonry business has initiated a program that recovers production waste previously directed to landfill. Block rejects are now recovered by an independent contractor, who crushes and screens the rejects which are then re-used in the production of concrete block. This has eliminated over 4,500 tonnes of landfill waste and resulted in savings from recycling of over $64,000.

During the year, Midland Brick, through its Midland Magpies recycling program, returned ~14,000 tonnes of surplus building materials from off-site to be recycled back into brick products; this is equivalent to 5.4 million bricks, which is enough to build around 250 average size double brick houses. Since 2007, Boral has returned ~36,000 tonnes that would have otherwise gone to landfill (equivalent of 13 million bricks).

Rainwater Tank System

Making significant savings in mains water use
At our new Pinkenba plasterboard plant in Queensland, rainwater harvesting has reduced the sites' reliance on mains water by around 50% over the last year, equivalent to 48 million litres. A retention pond was constructed to collect rainwater from some 34,000 square metres of roof area of the new facility. Water is drawn from the retention pond and used in the manufacturing process in lieu of mains water. Waste process water is also recycled and re-used within the manufacturing process.

At Boral's Darra brick site, mains water consumption has reduced by more than 45% compared to last year1. This has been achieved by investing in a rainwater tank system and establishing a pumping and filtration system to use surface water from the sediment pond for the manufacturing of clay products.

Australian Construction Materials has recently implemented a range of water efficiency projects including installation of rainwater tanks at all metropolitan concrete batching plants in Western Australia. Water efficiency projects in Western Australia's concrete business have resulted in the saving of over 11 million litres of mains water compared to the previous year, equivalent to a reduction of over 15%.

1 Adjusted for plant non-operating periods.

Land management and biodiversity
Responsible land management starts with environmental due diligence before acquisition of new land assets or businesses, and continues through to divesting sites only when they are "fit for purpose". Key aspects of our land management activities are: complying with environmental and planning regulatory requirements; minimising Boral's "environmental footprint"; progressively rehabilitating our extraction sites; and maximising the sustainability and financial end use of our extraction sites.

Where practicable, Boral progressively rehabilitates its extractive operations on an ongoing basis. Landscape rehabilitation works improve the visual amenity of our quarry sites, enhance biodiversity and minimise erosion through planting of native trees and revegetation. Examples of Boral's rehabilitation in 2008/09 include: shaping, contouring and hydro-seeding, the large southern overburden mound at the Linwood Quarry in South Australia; planting 2,000 local native trees and shrubs at Stonyfell Quarry, South Australia; and planting 3,000 endemic trees and shrubs at Yallourn Quarry, Victoria.

In addition to the already developed or proposed nature reserves at various Boral locations, Boral continues to develop quarry rehabilitation plans in greater alignment with current thinking regarding biodiversity, such as re-establishment of natural ecosystems relevant to the local area, rather than just addressing visual impact.

Boral's efforts in biodiversity enhancement and land management generally involve long-term commitments. Ongoing efforts which include protecting the Western Swamp Tortoise in the Swan Valley in Western Australia, the Striped Legless Lizard and Spiny Riceflower on the Basalt Plains west of Melbourne and the Grey-headed Flying Fox in New South Wales.

Boral undertakes all required biodiversity assessments under the federal Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act, and equivalent state level legislation, and implements resulting management plans. The same approach applies for heritage values, in particular Aboriginal heritage. In carrying out heritage assessments, Boral appoints appropriate heritage experts and follows government guidelines. For example, Boral recently relocated a scar tree, that would otherwise have been destroyed, from our Culcairn Quarry to the Albury and District Local Aboriginal Land Council, where it is planned to be displayed at its new health centre which is under construction.

Some Boral locations are subject to Native Title claims and these are dealt with according to local statutory requirements. Boral is committed to working cooperatively with traditional land owners and where necessary Boral's businesses draw on the expertise of Boral's Indigenous Employment Coordinator who assists with indigenous cultural issues. There is currently ongoing dialogue with claimants with respect to one quarry site, in Western Australia.

When acquiring or divesting properties, or commencing or ceasing leases, all due diligence is undertaken and, where necessary, supplementary work to assess and remediate any site contamination is undertaken. An active Boral-wide contaminated site assessment program is no longer necessary. However continually more demanding legislation and standards will result in reassessment programs in some jurisdictions under the guidance of Boral's Legal and Environmental Services.

Through the Boral Living Green initiative, in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia, we have continued to support several projects to enhance the habitat of threatened species including:

  • maintaining the habitat of the Western Swamp Tortoise (a nationally threatened species currently classed as "critically endangered") at Ellen Brook Nature Reserve in Western Australia.
  • maintaining walking tracks and protecting remnant habitats for the Brushed-tailed Phascogale (marsupial) and Powerful Owl along the Great Dividing Trail around Daylesford, Victoria.
  • managing the infestation of Cats Claw creeper which is damaging the rainforests at Bells Scrub, Dayboro, Queensland. This area is recognised as one of the most valuable rainforest remnants in south east Queensland.