Paris, 8 December 2015
Today, 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 1Gt by 2030 compared to business as usual. The report identifies the barriers the industry faces, what needs to be done, by whom and when.
Peter Bakker, President & CEO of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), said: "Cement production accounts for approximately 5% 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.
"These business measures can only achieve their full potential if backed by the right policy frameworks and financial incentives. We count on the support of policymakers worldwide and the financial community in removing the barriers to scale up."
Low Carbon Technology Partnership initiative - Materials: Cement
The Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) led by the WBCSD is an unprecedented business collaboration to scale up the development and deployment of low carbon technologies. Among the member companies, 86 have made 94 endorsements and are ready to move to implementation.
"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 Mexico-based CEMEX.
The LCTPi on Cement has gathered CEO commitment from 17 cement companies around the world.
"Building on 15 years of collaboration, the CSI and its members are working towards scaling up their efforts and leveraging the implementation of identified business solutions to a broad majority of cement companies worldwide. Engaging the whole cement sector would be delivering an additional reduction of close to 1 Gt of CO2 by 2030, which is about the same amount of total CO2 emissions of Germany in 2013." said Philippe Fonta, Managing Director of the CSI at WBCSD.
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.
"COP21 is a unique moment in history and an unprecedented opportunity deliver results that will scale up decisive action on climate. We need to ensure that business solutions to climate change are implemented to deliver the low carbon vision we work for." Explained OP Puranmalka, Managing Director of UltraTech 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.
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 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.
Engaging the building and infrastructure value chains to reduce cement's footprint will further contribute to the use of concrete as a sustainable and resilient construction solution.
List of companies supporting the Action Plan: