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Concrete’s path to net-zero emissions in focus


GCCA and World Economic Forum join forces to deliver Concrete Action for Climate initiative
THE Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) and World Economic Forum have today launched Concrete Action for Climate (CAC), a collaborative platform that will help drive the industry’s journey to carbon-neutral concrete by 2050 as part of the Mission Possible Partnership.

The CAC initiative, which already represents 40% of the global concrete and cement industry through the GCCA, will bring together expertise and influence from the wider built environment industry, business, civil society, governments, and investors to help deliver and co-ordinate global climate action, stimulate demand for sustainable materials and ensure appropriate financing and public policy is in place to help the sector reduce its carbon footprint.

Dr Dominik von Achten, chairman of CAC and chairman of the managing board of HeidelbergCement, said: ‘Strong action to improve the sustainability of cement and concrete is already under way, but the industry needs to engage and collaborate with others to help drive collective action towards achieving carbon-neutral concrete for the world.

‘Today’s launch of the ‘Concrete Action for Climate’ platform is a great example of such collective action. It’s encouraging and exciting to see influential, global organizations from across the world come together to support the cement and concrete industry on its path to carbon neutrality.’

The work of the Concrete Action for Climate forms part of the Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) and will follow a four-step approach, bringing together ambitious industry stakeholders to forge a shared vision for the future of concrete.

Alongside CAC, GCCA members are working on a comprehensive roadmap which will outline the pathway to net-zero with measurable milestones and a shared commitment to agreed actions. CAC will also be supporting implementation through the development of practical resources and toolkits for actions to share best practice with concrete and cement companies globally.

Nigel Topping, UN high-level climate action champion, COP26, said: ‘The launch of Concrete Action for Climate is a strong demonstration of the cement and concrete industry’s commitment to completely decarbonizing their entire supply chain.

‘Now we must implement this ambition with the rapid uptake of green cement and concrete across the industrial ecosystem. We look forward to seeing more cement and concrete companies join the Race to Zero and drive forward these fundamental shifts to deliver a zero-carbon world in time.’

Dinah McLeod, chief executive of the GCCA, said: ‘Concrete is vital to the modern world and ensuring its long-term sustainability is essential. This cannot be done by industry alone, we need collaboration across the entire value chain, through policy, investment, and by working with policymakers as well as other industries.

‘Through Concrete Action for Climate, we intend to build on the commitments of our industry and create lasting change – reducing the climate impacts of concrete whilst ensuring its incredible performance benefits can help build the sustainable world of tomorrow.’

Anthony Hobley, co-executive director of the Mission Possible Platform and executive fellow of the World Economic Forum, said: ‘By partnering with the cement and concrete industry to reduce its carbon footprint, we are taking another crucial step towards achieving a net-zero world by 2050.

‘CAC will work across the built environment value chain to create demand for green and low-carbon cement and concrete, while also ensuring that the finance and policy is in place to drive innovation and a lasting change to how the industry operates.’

The launch of this initiative marks another milestone of the MPP’s efforts to help accelerate industry transition for heavy industry and mobility sectors on the pathway towards net-zero emissions, and it is the latest example of the GCCA and its member companies leading the way in carbon reduction and delivering against its climate commitments.

CAC invites companies and wider society to join the movement, which can be done by contributing to the development of key elements of the roadmap, including supply and demand targets, policy recommendations, financing mechanisms and circularity solutions; joining the cement industry net-zero roadmap and contributing to its launch during COP26; and participating in workshops with other subject matter experts.

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