Sustainability is at the heart of the GCCA.
Our Sustainability Charter and guidelines underpin what we do and support member companies to make a long-term contribution towards global sustainability goals. This means protecting the environment from climate change.
But it does not stop there. The cement and concrete industry also has a vital role in bringing social and economic sustainability to the communities, regions and countries in which it is present.
You can find out how the cement and concrete sector is contributing to all 17 of the SDGs by clicking on any of the icons at the bottom of the page.
What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
Adopted in 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals, containing a combined 169 targets, that address a broad range of sustainable development challenges. They form a framework within which the development agendas of UN member states can be designed and delivered.
But they are not only relevant to nation states. In framing the issues of sustainable development, they also provide a guide for industries in managing their social, environmental and economic impacts – to limit the negative and enhance the positive.
While there are 17 goals – 16 that deal with specific issues plus one that encourages partnerships to meet the goals – in reality they overlap and interrelate. Steps to meet one will therefore both require and result in steps to meet others.
As an example: ending poverty (SDG1) depends on steps to meet goals related to good health and wellbeing (SDG3), quality education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), decent work (SDG8), and reduced inequalities (SDG10). All of the goals interweave with others in similar ways.
Read our letter in the Financial Times
Infrastructure has big role in UN sustainability goalsRead more
The SDGs and the cement and concrete industry
As an industry, cement and concrete touches many areas of sustainable development. In some, such as those related to climate change, the industry acknowledges its role as a significant emitter of carbon – and is working to address this. According to the 2018 Cement Industry GNR data, the industry has lowered its emissions of CO2 per tonne of cementitious material by 19.2% since 1990.
But we also know this is not enough and the GCCA is committed to supporting its members achieve carbon-neutral concrete by 2050.
In other areas, the widespread and low-cost availability of concrete, as well as its durability and resilience, will be a critical resource in achieving many SDGs. This is particularly so for those goals related to urbanisation and where large-scale improvements to vital infrastructure or to affordable decent housing are needed. To learn more how the cement and concrete industry can make a positive contribution to achieving each goal, click on the relevant SDG box below.