At COP21 in Paris, the cement industry reaffirmed its commitment to help tackle climate change, releasing a set of action plans aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 1 Gt by 2030.
Peter Bakker, president and CEO of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), said: “Cement production accounts for approximately 5 percent of worldwide man-made CO2 emissions. This collective effort by the cement industry to mitigate its emissions is highly encouraging and showcases the importance of leadership and collaboration in making the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
WBCSD’s Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) is “an unprecedented business collaboration to scale up the development and deployment of low carbon technologies,” the group said. Among member companies, 86 have made 94 endorsements and are ready to move to implementation.
In many cases, the technologies are already available, but there are either political barriers that need to be removed or financial incentives to be put in place in order to scale up investment in implementing existing and developing breakthrough technologies required to deliver meaningful reduction targets.
“There is a lot of potential for emission reductions, but in order to unlock it we need the whole private sector to be involved, and we need to work with governments and other stakeholders in order to remove regulatory and other barriers" said Fernando González, CEO of Cemex.
The LCTPi Cement report identifies a range of actions that tackle emissions of the sector, including expanding the use of alternative fuels and cement components, developing new low carbon cements, looking into avoided emissions in the use phase of concrete as a sustainable building material, and exploring novelties in the production process.
"Since 2001 the cement sector has demonstrated its ability to make progress on mitigating its impact on climate change. The LCTPi provides additional opportunities to accelerate these efforts and widen engagement through actions by all members of the industry, together with other stakeholders, to overcome barriers and achieve performance matching the best in the sector," said Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim.
To help achieve the goals outlined in the action plan, companies will expand the use of tools developed and pioneered by the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) on CO2 and energy measurement, reporting and benchmarking across the sector. The CSI and its members are working to break down barriers and take decisive steps around the world in addition to the development of technology roadmaps on a global scope. Customized national roadmaps have been or are being launched in India, Brazil, Egypt and potentially in China to allow for the sharing of learnings and know-how.
The following 16 cement companies support the LCTPi action plan: Cementos Argos, Cemex, CRH, Dalmia Cement, GCC, HeidelbergCement, InterCement, Italcementi Group, LafargeHolcim, SCG Cement, Secil, Shree Cement, Titan, UltraTech Cement, Votorantim Cimentos and West China Cement.
“It is simply not possible to achieve robust and sustainable growth without taking consistent action to promote sustainable development. COP 21 represents the beginning of a new phase in which it will be necessary to combine the efforts of the sector and other key stakeholders to ensure that low-carbon technology initiatives are implemented,” said Walter Dissinger, CEO of Votorantim Cimentos.