Jul 5, 2021
Dominic Ellis

GCCA and WEF launch Concrete Action for Climate

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climatechange
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The Global Cement and Concrete Association and World Economic Forum launch Concrete Action for Climate to boost collaboration over 2050 net zero targets

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 concrete and cement industry, which has cut emissions proportionally by 20% since 1990, is now assembling wider support to achieve its ambitious 2050 carbon neutral target.

The Concrete Action for Climate 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 concrete is vital to the development of the modern world, being used to develop key infrastructure like safe homes, bridges, hospitals as well as supporting the transition to clean energy.

"Strong action to improve the sustainability of cement and concrete is already underway, but the industry needs to engage and collaborate with others to help drive collective action towards achieving carbon neutral concrete for the world," he said. "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 organisations 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 decarbonising their entire supply chain. "Now we must implement this ambition with the rapid uptake of green cement and concrete across the industrial ecosystem," he said. "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, GCCA Chief Executive 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," she said. "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, Mission Possible Platform & Executive Fellow, World Economic Forum, said by partnering with the cement and concrete industry to reduce its carbon footprint, it is taking another crucial step towards achieving a net-zero word by 2050.

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

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.

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