| 13 December 2019

Climate solutions the focus for cement and concrete industry at COP25 in Madrid

Key discussions target pathway to carbon neutrality

Madrid (13 December 2019) – Four leading experts today explored the pathway to carbon neutrality in the cement and concrete industry at a side event to COP25 in Madrid.

The panel discussion entitled “Cement and concrete: the path to carbon neutrality by 2050” was moderated by Galo Gutierrez, General Director of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and featured:

  • Koen Coppenholle, Chief Executive of CEMBUREAU, the European cement association
  • Claude Lorea, Cement Director of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA)
  • Maria José García, Executive Director of the Inter-American Cement Federation (FICEM)
  • Victor Hugo García Brosa, President of the Spanish Cement Manufacturers Association (OFICEMEN)

Commenting on the event, Benjamin Sporton, GCCA Chief Executive, said:

“The GCCA, its members and affiliates are committed to driving action on sustainability in the cement and concrete industry that supports the global effort to mitigate the extent and impact of climate change. We were pleased to take part in this vital discussion and look forward to exploring further with our partners how we, as an industry, can work towards carbon neutrality.”

Koen Coppenholle, Chief Executive of CEMBUREAU, said:

“CEMBUREAU and its members invite governments to engage with our sector on a full value chain approach to decarbonisation – as outlined in our 5C campaign – on the crucial role of the cement industry in the circular economy, and on innovation projects that are instrumental to lowering our emissions.”

Víctor García Brosa, Oficemen President, added:

“Innovation in the manufacture of novel low-carbon cements and the widespread use of waste derived fuels are two keys to achieve an immediate reduction in the CO2 emissions of the Spanish cement industry. The replacement rate of fossil fuels by waste derived fuels in Spain is only 27% very far from countries such as Austria, Germany or Norway with percentages above 60%.”

Maria José Garcia, FICEM Executive Director, added:

“In Latin America and the Caribbean,  the industry and FICEM are developing Roadmaps for a low-carbon economy, adhering to the global guidelines of the cement industry, being the main key topics, to reduce Clinker Factor and increase co-processing; however our industry, due to the high climate vulnerability of the region, focuses its efforts on adaptation, promoting resilient and sustainable construction.”

Today’s event builds on existing roadmaps to carbon neutrality by several regional cement associations, including CEMBUREAU, whose 5C approach formed the basis for the panel discussion.

The 5C framework is structured around the key elements of the cement and concrete value chain: clinker, cement, concrete, construction and the built environment, and (re)carbonation.

Innovation along the value chain: the 5C approach

Discussion moderator, Galo Gutierrez concluded:

“Cement and concrete are integral to building a modern, sustainable and resilient society. It was great to be involved in the discussion today and hear about the industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and supporting global efforts to address the challenge of climate change.”

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. In this way, 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. The GCCA is headquartered in London, England. It complements and supports the work done by associations at national and regional level.

The European Cement Association based in Brussels is the representative organisation of the cement industry in Europe. Currently, its Full Members are the national cement industry associations and cement companies of the European Union (except for Malta and Slovakia) plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Croatia and Serbia are Associate Members of CEMBUREAU. A cooperation agreement has been concluded with Vassiliko Cement in Cyprus and with the Cement Association of Ukraine.

About Oficemen:
Since 1925, the Spanish Cement Association (Oficemen) represents an industry with a calling to serve the public, responsible to society and, above all, with a great respect for the environment. Our mission as sector is to be and act on the market to create employment, wealth and to contribute to the citizens’ progress and quality of life. Therefore, the Spanish cement industry has opted for such values as leadership, innovation responsibility to the communities where we operate and environmental friendliness. We endeavor to position ourselves as a modern and efficient sector, a benchmark on a domestic and international level and as a sector that treats people with respect. We also support innovation and sustainable development, working in close collaboration with the Public Authorities, social agents and other industrial sectors, and helping to boost the Spanish economy.

About FICEM:
The Inter- American Cement Federation (FICEM) represents the vast majority of cement producing companies, institutes and associations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. FICEM’s mission is to disseminate and strengthen the statements of the global cement agenda, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, the substitution of fossil fuel use and good industrial safety and occupational health practices.

FICEM also promotes the use of construction systems based on cement and concrete, consolidates good practices related to models of social responsibility and environmentally friendly technologies, seeking progress and welfare for the communities where its members act.

In the same way, FICEM leads the efforts of the regional cement industry in terms of adaptation and mitigation to climate change and its contribution to a circular economy, aligned with the commitments set out in COP21 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paul Adeleke

Communications and Policy Director