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Building Materials Company Heidelberg Hires Next Chief Sustainability and New Technologies Officer: 5 Things to Know

June 27, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Heidelberg Materials is hiring SLB veteran Katharina Beumelburg to succeed Nicola Kimm as chief sustainability and new technologies officer. Kimm is set to exit the building materials and cement company in August 2024. Beumelburg will arrive in October 2024.

Beumelburg's will join Heidelberg Materials at a key time. Cement and concrete production generate as much as 9% of all human CO2 emissions each year, according to Scientific America. Amid that backdrop, Heidelberg Materials is striving to decarbonize its cement production -- with various goals in place for 2030 and beyond.

Amid that backdrop, here are five things to know about Beumelburg's experience and Heidelberg Materials' sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: Heidelberg Materials, founded in 1874, is based in Heidelberg, Germany -- or roughly 50 miles from Frankfurt. Annual revenues were €21.2 billion in 2023, up 4% from 2022. The company, backed by roughly 51,000 employees across 50 countries, specializes building materials such as cement, aggregates and ready-mixed concrete. Those products and services are used in the construction of houses, infrastructure, commercial and industrial facilities, the company says.

Katharina Beumelburg, incoming chief sustainability and new technologies officer, Heidelberg Materials

2. Sustainability Goals: Heidelberg Materials has a 2030-focused sustainability strategy that involves such goals as achieving 50% of revenue from sustainable products that are either low-carbon or circular. Key product launches include evoZero, which is positioned as a "carbon captured net-zero cement." The company's overall goal is to achieve net zero by 2050 -- though we don't know near-term Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 targets or milestones.

3. Chief Sustainability Officer Transition: Katharina Beumelburg will join the Heidelberg Materials managing board, as chief sustainability & new technologies officer, effective October, 1 2024. Beumelburg will succeed Nicola Kimm, who will leave the company after completing her three-year term on August 31, 2024.

4. Executive Experience: Beumelburg has been SLB's chief strategy and sustainability officer since May 2021. Previously, she held key posts at Siemens, Siemens Energy, and Hydrogen Europe, her bio notes. She has studied Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and holds a PhD in Robotics and Automation from the University of Stuttgart.

Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the supervisory board, Heidelberg Materials

5. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement, Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the supervisory board of Heidelberg Materials, said: “With the appointment of Katharina Beumelburg to the Managing Board of Heidelberg Materials, we will place an even greater focus on the implementation of our sustainability strategy. We will expand the necessary technologies and partnerships to further drive decarbonisation. Dr Beumelburg has extensive experience in carbon capture and storage from the oil and gas industry and brings a wealth of expert knowledge in developing partnerships across sectors.”

Scheifele added: “We thank Nicola Kimm for her commitment in setting up and developing Heidelberg Materials’ sustainability strategy. She has made a significant contribution to establishing our company as a recognised industry leader in sustainability. This is also reflected in the very good positioning in leading ESG ratings."

Nicola Kimm
Nicola Kimm will exit Heidelberg Materials on August 31, 2024

Noted Dominik von Achten, CEO of Heidelberg Materials: “I look forward to working with Katharina Beumelburg and the entire Managing Board team to further expand our pioneering role in decarbonisation and the circular economy. The emphasis is now on consequently further optimising the initiated projects economically and on realising them in practice. With her strong track record in all key sustainability functions and her focus on technology, industrial partnerships, and profitable business models, Katharina Beumelburg is ideally placed to take our sustainability strategy to the next level."

von Achten concluded: “Nicola Kimm has successfully established and firmly anchored the sustainability organisation within our company over the past three years. Under her leadership, we have adopted the most ambitious CO2 reduction targets in our industry. She has been instrumental in ensuring that Heidelberg Materials is globally recognised in the areas of decarbonisation, circular economy, biodiversity, and in focusing our portfolio on sustainable revenue. I sincerely thank Nicola Kimm for her great commitment and wish her the best of luck and success for the future.”

Dominik von Achten, CEO, Heidelberg Materials
Dominik von Achten, CEO, Heidelberg Materials

Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs): Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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