Cement industry aspires to reduce CO2 emissions by 20-25 per cent, by 2030
Cement industry aspires to reduce CO2 emissions by 20-25 per cent, by 2030

Cement industry aspires to reduce CO2 emissions by 20-25 per cent, by 2030

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 or CMP11 was held in Paris, France, from November 30 to December 12, 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The said conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, the text of which represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties attending it. The agreement will become legally binding if joined by at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse emissions. Such parties will need to sign the agreement in New York between April 22, 2016 and April 21, 2017, and also adopt it within their own legal systems (through ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession). Aware of the vital role that cement and concrete plays, and will continue to play in the future of our modern society, and the significant challenge in mitigating the CO2 emissions from cement production, the cement sector once again committed itself for long-term efforts towards low-carbon development on a global scale. Collaboration both within and beyond the sector is necessary to deliver against aspirational goal and bring upon progressive advancement in low-carbon development for the sectorKyoto Protocol and along its value chain.

Cement industry leaders announced plans to reduce emissions by 20 per cent, to 25 per cent by 2030.

Action plans launched at COP21 by cement companies of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) call for an international CO2 policy framework and the removal of existing barriers in order to unlock the sector´s full reduction potential

Cement Action Plan is part of WBCSD´s Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) to accelerate the deployment of low carbon solutions. At the COP21 in Paris on December 8, 2015, 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. Commenting on this, Peter Bakker, President & CEO of WBCSD, said, ´Cement production accounts for approximately 5 per cent 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,´ he adds.

The Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative 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. The LCTPi on cement has gathered CEO commitment from 16 cement companies around the world.

´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.

´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. Customised 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.

About WBCSD & the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative (LCTPi) At COP21, WBCSD launched LCTPi with SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) and IEA (International Energy Agency). Supported by the French Presidency of COP21, the LCTPi is part of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda. It aims to present a series of concrete action plans at COP21 for the large-scale development and deployment of low-carbon technologies.

It is a unique initiative whose size and scale is unprecedented. Over 150 companies and 70 partners have joined together to collaborate on low-carbon action plans designed to reach ambitious targets on emissions reduction.

LCTPi is a collaborative platform that brings together WBCSD´s Action2020 Business Solutions, SDSN´s Deep Decarbonisation Pathways and IEA´s Technology Roadmaps to:
Accelerate the diffusion of existing technologies by removing technological, market and social barriers and introducing required policy and financial instruments
Develop Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) on the research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D) of potentially game changing new technologies.

About WBCSD & Peter Bakker, President, CEO
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a CEO-led, global association of some 200 international companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. The WBCSD was created in 1995 in a merger of the Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Industry Council for the Environment and is based in Geneva, Switzerland with an office in Washington, D.C.

Peter Bakker is the President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Bakker is a distinguished business leader who until June 2011, was the CEO of TNT NV, the Netherlands-based holding company of TNT Express and Royal TNT Post. Under his leadership TNT rose to the forefront of corporate responsibility via a ground-breaking partnership with the UN World Food Program and ambitious CO2 reduction targets from its Planet Me initiative, holding multiple-year top-ranking positions in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Bakker is the recipient of Clinton Global Citizen Award (2009); SAM Sustainability Leadership Award (2010); and has been an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme since 2011. In addition he is the Chairman of War Child Netherlands.

About CSI
The Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) is a global effort by 26 leading cement producers, with operations in more than 100 countries. Collectively these companies account for around 30 per cent of the world´s cement production and range in size from very large multinationals to smaller local producers. All CSI members have integrated sustainable development into their business strategies and operations, as they seek strong financial performance with an equally strong commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Acknowledging that the cement manufacturing process is energy intensive and chemically releasing CO2, CSI companies have customised the reference GHG Protocol to fit to their operating conditions and they developed the most comprehensive database of CO2 and energy emissions of any sector, called the ´Getting the Numbers Right´ (GNR) database. Using this database (9 years of reporting in 2015) to monitor progress and set up baselines, the CSI partnered with the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2009 to develop the first sectoral low-carbon technology roadmap for the cement sector, paving the way for other sectors to follow. This exercise is now being duplicated at national level, through the roadmaps in India, Brazil and Egypt with the ambition to initiate one similar exercise in China. The CSI is an WBCSD initiative.

About Philippe Fonta, Managing Director, CSI & TIP, WBCSD Philippe Fonta has about 25 years of experience with private companies, working in cooperation with international institutions, policy-making bodies and non-governmental organizations. Occupying various management positions, including Director of Environment and Head of Sustainable Development for Airbus, one of the two major aircraft manufacturers, he also endorsed the responsibility of Chairman of the environmental committee of the aerospace manufacturers´ trade association, which is the official observer to the environmental work carried out at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the UN aviation-specialized standard- and policy-making agency.

Fonta is now bringing his technical engineer´s background, his experience in handling economic scenarios and managing international cooperation to the cement sector, leading WBCSD´s CSI since March 2011. In September 2012, Fonta also took over the responsibility of the WBCSD´s Tire Industry Project (TIP), which gathers 11 major tire producers, representing more than 70 per cent of the world´s tire manufacturing capacity. This group is working together through the WBCSD in moving forward their sustainability agenda.

List of companies supporting the Action Plan:

  • Global Cement companies
  • Cementos Argos
  • CRH
  • GCC
  • HeidelbergCement
  • InterCement
  • Italcementi Group
  • LafargeHolcim
  • SCG Cement
  • Secil
  • Titan
  • Votorantim Cimentos
  • West China Cement

Indian Cement Companies

  • Dalmia Cement
  • Shree Cement
  • UltraTech Cement
  • HeidelbergCement, operates through group companies
  • LafargeHolcim, operates through group companies

We thankfully acknowledge the inputs received from Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of World Business Council for sustainable development

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