CSI Forum 2009

São Paulo, Brazil, 31 August – 2 September 2009

The CSI organized its third CSI Forum, hosted by Votorantim, in São Paulo, Brazil. 70 participants from industry and guests from Brazil and around the world attended.

CSI Forum 2009

The Forum provided the opportunity to discuss key sustainability challenges facing the cement industry, in particular areas of health and safety, Sectoral Approach to greenhouse gas emissions management, biodiversity and technology, areas in which the CSI has made significant contributions.

Walter Schalka, CEO of Votorantim, welcomed the CSI Forum participants and underlined the significant progress his company had achieved notably in the area of employee safety. Howard Klee, CSI director, gave a status update of the CSI’s work, followed by presentations from various Trade Associations about the most important issues in their regions.

Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Director-General of the Department of the Environment and Special Themes at the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations, gave a comprehensive overview of Brazil’s position and expectations for the upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009. Stressing the general principles of common but differentiated responsibility and “the polluter pays”, he underlined that developing countries would not accept a cap on their CO2 emissions. They should rather aim at a deviation of emissions from business-as-usual, i.e. to slow down emissions growth compared to the growth in economic output.

The Environment Secretary of Sao Paulo State, Francisco Graziano Neto, stressed the important role regional groups such as his State play in the climate debate – notably Sao Paulo State is planning to pass stringent legislation to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990s levels by 2020. These include measures like no new thermal power plants unless they use only biomass for electricity generation, and a number of other highly progressive proposals.

Further sessions were dedicated to safety and Sectoral Approach. Fatality rates in the industry need to be reduced; decisive company action is needed to reduce fatalities and to move the industry towards a vision of “zero fatalities”. Sectoral approaches are an instrument for developing countries to move forward with their Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), reducing emissions sector-by-sector rather than having to take economy-wide commitments.

In six break-out sessions, the Forum participants discussed the following topics relevant to the cement industry world-wide:

  • CSI global database on energy and CO2 performance (“Getting the Numbers Right”)
  • Sectoral Approach project
  • A technology roadmap for the cement industry
  • Improving driving safety performance
  • Ecosystems and successful quarry rehabilitation
  • CCS research in the cement industry


The tone of the discussions was upbeat, focusing on how the cement industry can develop effective actions towards sustainable development. Sound data collection and global comparability increase transparency and help shape climate policies for the sector. The potential and limits of technological progress was critically discussed for the main mitigation levers in cement production: energy efficiency, alternative fuels, clinker substitution and carbon capture and storage.

Finally, in a Learning-by-Sharing session, participants discussed topics that are potentially becoming more important for the sustainability of the cement sector, notably on meeting social responsibility needs, standards along the supply chain, optimization of cement use, and local community engagement.

The CSI would like to extend a special thank you to Votorantim for the organization of this Forum.