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12 October 2022

Supplied by World Cement Association

The 5th World Cement Association (WCA) Annual Conference took place between the 25th and 28th of September in Dubai, UAE, allowing industry leaders and stakeholders to have an open discussion and honest assessment of the biggest challenges that the cement industry faces.

This year’s theme focused on Navigating the Climate Challenge: Reducing Carbon and Reducing Costs but many concluded that the greatest limiting factor to decarbonising the cement industry is not technology but the sector’s drive to act now.

A³&Co., who supported the conference and partnered with the WCA to promote their joint decarbonisation strategy, explained the potential for cement producers in the MENA region to reduce CO2 emissions by 47%, through steps such as operational excellence, product portfolio optimisation, using alternative fuels and calcined clay or belite cement.

“There is plenty that can be done today with a big positive impact on the bottom line and on emissions,” said Amr Nader, A³&Co’s Co-Founder and CEO.

Attendees and speakers agreed that economic incentives were another limiting factor. Globally, cement generates the most carbon emissions per revenue dollar with 6.9kg of CO2 emitted per dollar, five times more than steel, according to McKinsey. Therefore, governments must create incentives, such as carbon pricing and green procurement for public projects, to enable change to happen faster.

WCA board member, Mahendra Singhi, CEO of Dalmia Cement (Bharat), made his keynote speech highlighting what can be accomplished when management is aligned and determined, even in a country such as India, which has no carbon pricing. He explained how from June 2022 Dalmia has achieved the lowest emissions of any major cement company worldwide, with an average CO2 footprint of 486 kg per tonne of cement.

“Our efforts have helped us achieve one of the lowest carbon footprints across the global cement industry, as well as being one of the most profitable cement companies in India,” said Mahendra Singhi, CEO of Dalmia Cement (Bharat). “It was great to finally hold our conference in person this year, there was a clear desire to act at the WCA Annual Conference. There are actions that all cement companies can take today to reduce emissions and cut costs at the same time, it’s win-win for both climate and company,” said WCA CEO Ian Riley. “The conference attendees welcomed the roadmap and I believe it will have prompted management teams to rethink their approach and the urgency of the challenge,” Riley expanded.

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