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Message from Management

In 2020, we faced a serious global economic and public health crisis. The pandemic imposed periods of strict quarantine in all countries where we operate. However, what was initially an extremely pessimistic outlook from a financial standpoint turned out to be an opportunity to build paths toward a future of greater flexibility and even more solid economic results. 

In addition, investments suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic have been resumed, such as the project to expand the Pecém unit in Ceará, which was interrupted due to the need for a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus and now has a startup expected in the first half of 2021. 

We are committed to establishing ourselves in new markets, especially through Verdera (our co-processing and waste management business unit), Viter (our agricultural business) and MOV-C (our logistics and distribution arm), in addition to the other businesses adjacent to cement, such as mortars, concrete and aggregates. Together, these new and adjacent businesses achieved positive results in 2020 and are expected to gain momentum in 2021, establishing and strengthening themselves as competitive brands in the market, assuming the leadership of some sectors and accounting for meaningful portions of the company’s total earnings.

Our focus will continue to be operational excellence, with the goal of reducing occupational accidents and impacts on the environment, and increasing energy efficiency and productivity, especially through thermal substitution projects. 

Therefore, one of our greatest challenge is to implement processes and practices that continue to improve the social and environmental impacts of our operations. Our main drivers are our 2030 Commitments, which were approved by the Board and made public in 2020. They comprise a series of sustainability commitments, divided into seven pillars, with ambitious goals that include achieving carbonneutral concrete by 2050. 

To achieve this ultimate goal, we assumed a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12% by 2030 as an intermediate target, especially through the modernization of the manufacture of cement and concrete, which is recognizably a GHG contributor. Our efforts will apply globally, in all plants in the 10 countries where we operate, while we continue to work to strengthen our environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, one of the key factors to attract future investments. As part of our strategy, we highlight the efforts of a Working Group made up of Board members and sustainability experts to discuss the decarbonization agenda, one of our priorities.

One of the main initiatives to comply with the guidelines set out in our 2030 Commitments is to increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels, both in kilns that transform limestone and clay into cement, and in the consumption of electricity in our plants and offices. We intend to invest even more in the use of waste as fuel, especially unserviceable tires, urban waste and biomass that would otherwise end up in landfills. 

Investments in co-processing practices for the generation of alternative fuels alone will be around R$ 556.3 million over the next five years, in all regions where we operate. We will spare no effort to meet our targets and make our industrial processes cleaner, more sustainable and aligned with the development of the communities where we are present.

Part of our investments will go to the production of wind and solar energy in partnerships with Votorantim Energia, which since 2017 has formed a joint venture with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). Two new wind complexes are expected to be inaugurated by 2023, adding 220 megawatts (MW) in installed power generation capacity, part of which will go to our operations, increasing the share of renewables in Brazil to 56%. Other initiatives in this field are being studied for our operations in other countries, such as a solar plant at the Toral de los Vados unit in Spain, which will reduce our annual CO2 emissions by 3,500 tons. 

We continued to strengthen our presence in countries with strong currencies. In 2020, we announced one of our main strategic investments: the combination of St. Marys Cement (Canada), one of our businesses in North America and a wholly owned subsidiary of Votorantim Cimentos, and McInnis Cement, a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), with a focus on expanding cement production, distribution and sales operations in the Great Lakes region, eastern Canada and the northeastern coast of the United States. 

Votorantim Cimentos International (VCI), the international investments platform and wholly owned subsidiary of Votorantim Cimentos, will hold 83% and CDPQ will hold 17% of the new entity. The conclusion of this transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by regulatory authorities in Brazil, Canada and the United States.

Another important move was the approval of the consolidation of our industrial plants in Uruguay by Cementos Artigas. With investments of US$ 40 million, the project includes the relocation of the current cement milling and shipping operations from the Montevideo plant to the Minas plant, 100 kilometers from the Uruguayan capital. This move aims to make our unified production more eco-efficient and technologically advanced, with the installation of a state-of-the-art vertical cement mill and new cement silos. The operation is scheduled to start in 2022. 

This way, we will prepare ourselves to further strengthen the company’s cash position, resume investments and be attentive to new and promising market opportunities, with the commitment to strengthen our presence in regions with strong currency, while always pursuing investments in innovation, social and environmental development.

Board of Directors