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cemex trucks


Partnership with leading supplier of cements and aggregates

Case study // Delivering concrete results with Cemex UK

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of concrete, cement and aggregates, Cemex UK knows the importance of getting the mix right both with its products - and suppliers.

Biffa is the company’s long-standing provider of waste services, but two years ago the company really threw down the gauntlet when it decided to radically rethink its waste objectives.

While it was leading the market in most areas of sustainability, it had identified an urgent need for improvement on waste. The business was sending 63 percent of its waste to landfill and turned to Biffa to explore fresh ways to boost recycling and divert more from landfill.

With Biffa’s support, an ambitious plan for change called the Recycle R8 project, was born.

“We’re in a relatively waste-consumptive business,” said Miranda Clegg, Environmental Manager for Cemex UK. “We work hard to limit our impact on the planet but we were behind on waste. Through Recycle R8 we set bold targets for change, including diverting 80 percent of our waste from landfill in just two years.”

Site-specific solutions

The challenge was made tougher by the scale and diversity of operations across the business. With 3,500 staff working across more than 300 sites, including quarries, ready-mix concrete plants, asphalt plants, cement terminals and factories, the waste from each area is slightly different. A one-size-fits-all solution simply wouldn’t work.

“Our Corporate Account Manager at Biffa, Roger Barrett, came up with the fantastic idea of individually auditing each site, so we could establish their needs, provide a tailored service and be sure we were getting things right from the start,” added Miranda.

While the challenge of auditing so many sites might sound daunting, Roger, who has 20 years of experience in the industry, saw it as an exciting opportunity to build the foundations for a complete culture change.

“At each site, we went back to basics to see exactly what was generating waste,” said Roger. “So we’d see if there was volume of something specific, such as wood or cardboard, in general waste. If so, we provided a suitable bin for it.

“We also looked at inert (non-hazardous) materials that were being put into skips to see if they could be re-used and then put back into Cemex's processes, to reduce their waste and reuse their resources. We also created new routes for waste that had been going to landfill, such as RDF (refuse derived fuel).”

Changing attitudes

With changes agreed with each site manager, Biffa and Cemex UK then worked together to engage employees in changing their habits and using the right facilities for the right waste. Through information packs, signs, posters and training sessions for every employee, they laid out the benefits - environmental and financial - of better waste management.

Another key improvement at site level was the introduction of Biffa’s online portal, CustomerZone. It drives efficiency by ensuring bins are only collected when full and allows site managers to manage their collection requests, order and track collection trucks, run reports, pay invoices and update compliance information online.

The strategy has delivered concrete results for Cemex. Recycling has reached 49 percent, a 300 percent improvement on before, landfill diversion is at 80 percent, 700MWh of energy from waste that previously went to landfill has been generated and the business has reduced its waste bill.

“We’ve seen a cultural shift across our sites and employees,” said Miranda. “By normalising resource efficiency and recycling, we’re changing the attitudes and behaviour of employees and, in turn, their families. It’s resulted in a far greater impact than it’s possible to measure.”


Martin Nobes - Head of New Business

Martin Nobes

New Business Enquiries - if you're interested in how Biffa can help support you with strategic sustainable solutions contact Martin by emailing


The Recycle R8 project set bold targets for change.

Recycling at Cemex has reached 49 percent.

And the winner is...

Biffa and Cemex UK are in the running for a prestigious Sustainability Leaders Award for their phenomenal success on the Recycle R8 project. The awards celebrate sustainability excellence, from the largest multi-national businesses to the smallest micro-organisations. Winners will be announced on 25th January at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Keep an eye on UPLIFT to find out how we get on.