China National Building Material Group Corp (CNBM), the country's largest building materials manufacturer, invested about 850 million yuan ($131 million) in energy saving and emission reduction last year, according to the company's 2010 corporate social responsibility report released in late June.
The construction industry has long been known for its heavy pollution and high energy use. Figures from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development showed that the industry accounts for 40 percent of energy consumption worldwide at present.
The Beijing-based State-owned CNBM gave top priority to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility (CSR) in energy saving.
"The company has dedicated itself to energy conservation by investing in clean technology," said Song Zhiping, chairman of CNBM.
According to Liu Baoying, vice-president of CNBM, the cement sector is a major contributor to the company's energy consumption, accounting for more than 90 percent of the total.
"The company's energy consumption in the cement sector was reduced by 23 percent during the period of the country's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), mainly because of our efforts to eliminate poor production methods and upgrade technology," said Liu.
CNBM has disposed of 51 energy-inefficient cement operations with a total capacity of 6.8 million tons over the past five years, according to its CSR report.
With the new 900-megawatt low-temperature and waste heat power generation equipment, the cement sector is estimated to save 1.4 million tons of standard coal usage annually, which is equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide by 3.5 million tons every year, said the report.
The country has also attached great importance to decreasing its carbon footprint as the government targeted reductions in carbon dioxide emissions for every unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.
In addition, the company made substantial efforts in developing new building materials in a bid to reduce energy consumption.
Beijing New Building Material (Group) Co Ltd, a subsidiary of CNBM, mainly focused on manufacturing houses made of new building materials that can save electricity, water and materials during construction. They can also reduce by 60 to 90 percent the energy used when the buildings are functional, according to Cui Lijun, general manager of Beijing New Building Material.
Qiao Longde, president of China Building Materials Federation, said that CNBM has played a leading and exemplary role for other construction industry companies to follow.
"The company has performed very well in not only its business growth but also energy conservation. Therefore, other enterprises, especially medium- and small-sized companies, could learn from its best practice," said Qiao.
Last year, CNBM donated 10.3 million yuan to the country's poverty-stricken areas to support the development of education and philanthropy.
The company also strived to help the infrastructure development in developing countries, according to the report.