20 September 2022

Cement and Concrete industry leaders join forces with UN at New York Climate Week to focus on action, progress and next steps

Global collaboration drives action towards net zero cement and concrete

  • Global Cement and Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association, and Federación Interamericana del Cemento delivered a decarbonisation update at New York Climate Week
  • Marking the one-year anniversary of GCCA and PCA’s 2050 roadmaps to net zero, the focus was on the action already being taken by the industry to make progress
  • United Nations Global Climate lead, Selwin Hart joined the industry in calling on governments to help accelerate industry transition

(New York, 20 September 2022) – The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Federación Interamericana del Cemento (FICEM) have, at a New York Climate Week event, showcased the cement and concrete sector’s decarbonisation progress that has been made since the launch of the industry Net Zero Roadmap, in October 2021, and marked the next steps in the journey to accelerate progress as quickly as possible.

Featuring a keynote speech from Selwin Hart, the Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations for Climate Action and Just Transition, the event focused on concrete’s critical role in achieving a sustainable and resilient built environment and highlighted key progress made over the past 12 months, including moving from global pledges to local action.

GCCA Net Zero Accelerator programmes have already been launched in Egypt, Colombia, India and Thailand in 2022, as the industry takes action to support the Global South to reach the net zero commitment. Industry experts have also called for greater investment and deployment in technologies and innovations like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) and green procurement, as well as greater collaboration with policymakers to help ensure that policy levers and market conditions enable low carbon concrete to be investable and competitive.

Concrete is the most used material on earth after water and is the vital building material that has shaped the modern world. GCCA, PCA and FICEM are committed to accelerating the progress already made by the industry, with innovation a key factor in achieving future targets. Earlier this year the GCCA announced the first group of start-ups across the world to be backed by world-leading cement companies in the first-ever Innovandi Open Challenge to explore new technologies for decarbonising the cement and concrete industry.

Selwin Hart, Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action, said: “The world is way off track from keeping the 1.5C global warming limit alive and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.  We urgently need all hands on deck. GCCA represents 80% of the cement industry – responsible for 7% of global CO2 emissions. You have the power to shape history.  Your global association was the first heavy industry association to set a net-zero commitment.  But that means the easy part is done. We need you to be champions of net-zero credibility by bringing your entire industry and supply chain on board, including specific plans on how you will all reach net-zero, and what immediate steps you’ll take to cut emissions significantly each year.”

Thomas Guillot, GCCA’s Chief Executive, said: “As we look back on the past 12 months since we launched our Net Zero Roadmap, there’s a lot to be proud of, but we recognise that the hard work is only just beginning. Our priority is to continue the shift to local action, as we take material steps towards net zero concrete. It’s vital that we work closely with our regional partners, including PCA and FICEM, to support their local industries to overcome any area-specific challenges, and continue the positive progress.”

Mike Ireland, President and CEO of PCA, said: “As an industry it’s important that all of us across the cement and concrete value chain remain collaborative and focused on achieving our goal of carbon neutrality. Climate emergencies are becoming an everyday fact, so we must continue to research and develop essential innovations that will eventually lead to minimizing our carbon footprint.”

At the event, the industry outlined the global commitment to a local action programme, highlighting progress in the USA and around the world, as well as examining the key challenges in achieving a greener concrete future. These factors include investment and financing, innovation, policy levers and government commitment.


Full list of event speakers:

  • Selwin Hart, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations for Climate Action and Just Transition
  • Jan Jenisch, CEO, Holcim – and President, Global Cement and Concrete Association
  • Thomas Guillot, CEO, Global Cement and Concrete Association
  • Association
  • Ron Henley – President, GCC America – and Chairman, Portland Cement Association
  • Filiberto Ruiz – President and CEO, Votorantim Cimentos North America – and Vice Chairman, Portland Cement Association
  • Mike Ireland, President and CEO, Portland Cement
  • María José García – Executive Director, Federación Interamericana del Cemento

Notes to editors:

About the GCCA

Launched in January 2018, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) is dedicated to developing and strengthening the sector’s contribution to sustainable construction. The GCCA aims to foster innovation throughout the construction value chain in collaboration with industry associations as well as architects, engineers, and innovators. The association demonstrates how concrete solutions can meet global construction challenges and sustainable development goals while showcasing responsible industrial leadership in the manufacture and use of cement and concrete. It complements and supports the work of associations at national and regional levels. 

About PCA

The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers. PCA members represent the majority of U.S. cement production capacity, having facilities across the country. The association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, promoting economic growth and sound infrastructure investment.


The Inter-American Cement Federation represents cement producers, institutes, and associations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal. in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal. Its mission is to disseminate and strengthen the statements of the global cement agenda, such as climate protection and biodiversity, circular economy, energy efficiency, adaptation to climate change and mitigation of GHG emissions, as well as the promotion of good practices in the use of cement and concrete through its applications.

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paul Adeleke

Communications and Policy Director