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WBCSD Cement Sustainability Initiative

The Global Cement Industry Agenda for Action

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a CEO-led, global association of approximately 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development.

In 2002, Canada's cement manufacturers and other leading global cement companies came together under the auspices of the WBSCD to create the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI).  The CSI helps the cement industry address the challenges of sustainable development.

In developing its Agenda for Action, the CSI identified and is addressing the major sustainability issues of the cement industry.  These are:

  • CO2 and Climate Protection
  • Responsible use of Fuels and Raw Materials
  • Employee Health and Safety
  • Emissions Monitoring and Reduction
  • Local Impacts on Land and Communities

In 2006 and again in 2008, the Canadian cement industry reported publicly on its implementation of the CSI.  

In June 2008, the CSI released its 5-year update reporting progress in all areas of the Agenda for Action .  Significant accomplishments include the development and release of:

  • CO2 Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Cement Industry
  • Guidelines for the Selection and Use of Fuels / Raw Materials in the Cement Manufacturing Process
  • Communication and Stakeholder Involvement: Guidebook for Cement Facilities

In December 2008, the Cement Sustainability Initiative's (CSI) "Climate Actions" report was released which details the results of industry efforts to address major sustainability challenges. These include:

  • a sector-specific CO2 Accounting and Reporting Protocol,
  • a global database of cement plant energy and emissions performance,
  • a new approach to the Clean Development Mechanism, and
  • ways in which the cement industry could be a specific sector in the new global, post-2012 international climate framework.

A year later, the Cement Technology Roadmap 2009: Carbon Emissions Reductions up to 2050 report was jointly released by the International Energy Agency and The World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Roadmap outlines existing and potential technologies, and how they may help the industry support a halving of global CO2 emissions across all areas of business and society. It focuses on four key levers available to this industry: existing technologies for energy efficiency, alternative fuel use, and clinker substitution, as well as potential technology for carbon capture and storage. The roadmap is based on IEA modeling and on 38 technology papers developed for the CSI by ECRA, the European Cement Research Academy.