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Cement industry faces innovative future, post COP21

A tipping point is on the strategy agendas for the world’s largest cement companies, according to a new report by CDP. The study finds that of the 12 global cement companies analyzed in a US$120bn grouping, the majority of the companies’ forward-looking emissions reductions targets will expire in the next few years. This matters, because the cement sector is responsible for 5% of man-made global emissions, more than Japan or Canada. In addition, more than 50% of facilities are located in areas where water resources are stressed.

Cement producers in Europe are currently sheltered from carbon pricing, due to generous emission permit allowances. However, reform of the EU ETS (emissions trading systgem) post-2020 is likely to change this.

The COP21 Agreement calls for net zero emissions by 2050—which means that cement companies should be looking to “future-proof” their business by adopting new product and process technologies and new business models, says CDP. These include increasing the use of alternative fuel sources, implementing thermal energy efficiency measures, and using decarbonized substitute materials to a much greater degree. Currently, three of the twelve companies analyzed in the report have outlined plans for reducing their emissions in line with science-based targets.

View the executive summary of the report here.

Photo: commons.wikipedia.org

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