FRANCE - Cement Industry Calls for Long-Term Policy Certainty to Meet CO2 Targets by 2030


Updated Fri, 11 Dec 2015 10:45:25 GMT

Action plans launched at COP21 this week by cement companies of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development 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 World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative to accelerate the deployment of low carbon solutions. 

The cement industry reaffirmed its commitment at COP21 in Paris this week 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.  

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

Peter Bakker, President & CEO of WBCSD, said that 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.  

Mr. Bakker pointed that these business measures can only achieve their full potential if backed by the right policy frameworks and financial incentives and that they count on the support of policymakers worldwide and the financial community in removing the barriers to scale up. 

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. 

Fernando González, CEO of Mexico-based CEMEX, said that 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 they need to work with governments and other stakeholders in order to remove regulatory and other barriers. 

The LCTPi on Cement has gathered CEO commitment from 16 cement companies around the world. 

Philippe Fonta, Managing Director of the CSI at WBCSD, said that 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. 

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. O

P Puranmalka, Managing Director of UltraTech Cement, explained that COP21 is a unique moment in history and an unprecedented opportunity deliver results that will scale up decisive action on climate and that they need to ensure that business solutions to climate change are implemented to deliver the low carbon vision they work for. 

Walter Dissinger, CEO of Votorantim Cimentos, said tgar 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. 

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. 

Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim, said that 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. 

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: 

• Cementos Argos



• Dalmia Cement


• HeidelbergCement

• InterCement

• Italcementi Group

• LafargeHolcim

• SCG Cement

• Secil

• Shree Cement

• Titan

• UltraTech Cement

• Votorantim Cimentos

• West China Cement