GCCF logoThe World Cement Association Climate Action Plan

Read the full action plan below or Download the PDF here


Climate change is one of the preeminent issues of our time, but the world is still far from being on track to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The World Cement Association Member Companies have mapped out a tangible plan of action aiming at accelerating the pace of decarbonisation.

Like every energy and CO2-intensive sector, the global cement industry is at a crossroads. Either our sector will succeed in the definition and faster implementation of greenhouse gas mitigation roadmaps, working closely with public authorities to shape regulation that enables a smooth transition towards a low carbon construction sector; or we could soon face more aggressive moves from investors, regulators and other stakeholders.

“...low carbon transition also creates new business opportunities and new revenue streams for the building materials sector...”

The low carbon transition also creates new business opportunities and new revenue streams for the building materials sector, which should quickly be seized and deployed at scale.

Further innovation efforts are required both in processes and in products. Standards and building codes have to be adapted to trigger a faster deployment of innovative solutions. Cooperation at sector level and industrial symbiosis models across sectors are crucial to help accelerate the transition. Long-term carbon risk management should also be embedded into companies’ management processes.

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As a global organisation, the World Cement Association encourages its members to take ambitious action and believes that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change effectively requires joint effort. With a membership base representing more than 1 billion tons of annual cement production capacity the WCA and its members have the capacity to affect change in pursuing the necessary transition to a low carbon and circular economy at global level. They stand at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

During the WCA Global Climate Change Forum, which took place in Paris on June 27th and 28th, the leaders of our member companies engaged with external stakeholders and discussed future joint initiatives which are now being formalized in this very first WCA Climate Action Plan.

The WCA Climate Action Plan acknowledges the heritage of the WBCSD/CSI in addressing the climate challenge. The convergence of industry efforts and tools should in our mind be a common concern. All future WCA climate-related actions will be designed and deployed in this spirit.

Our commitment is to avoid empty words and to sign up for real action.

“Take ambitious action, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change effectively requires joint effort”

The transition of the world economy towards carbon neutrality

The World Cement Association and its members acknowledge the crucial challenge that climate change represents for our planet and our society.

The World Cement Association supports the Paris Agreement objective of limiting global climate warming well-below 2 degrees by 2100 versus pre-industrial times and to increasing resilience of human communities to climate events. It encourages its members to develop ambitious climate protection strategies, action plans and targets and supports them in this endeavour. Member companies affirm their willingness to tackle the challenge.

5 areas of collective action

1. Transparency of greenhouse gas emissions

Monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions in the cement sector still has to be harmonized. The WCA will develop a tailored monitoring and reporting protocol and deliver required training within next 2 years. This endeavour aims at enabling WCA Members to establish the carbon footprint of their products and provide a procedure which, subject to local regulations, can enable reporting agreed datasets to the “Getting the Numbers Right” global cement database of CO2 and energy information.

2. Acting for an optimal use of our products in construction

WCA Members will sustain and whenever possible enhance their efforts in the information, education and training of concrete producers and users, as well as in supporting the professionalisation of the construction sector working collaboratively with the other players along the value chain.

WCA Members underline the imperious need to quickly adapt standards and building codes to trigger the use of low-carbon solutions on a life-cycle basis. The ultimate objective must be to minimize the CO2 emissions over the life-cycle of buildings and infrastructure, encompassing embodied CO2 in construction functional units and CO2 emissions from heating and cooling during the use phase. WCA Members are committed to advocate in this direction.

The WCA will explore opportunities of joint initiatives and actions at international level, complementing national associations’ and companies’ efforts. It will develop recommendations related to climate-friendly standards and building codes.

3. Accelerating the development of waste co-processing

Massive waste co-processing capacities in cement kilns are still not being used, even though this could deliver a huge contribution to solving waste management issues around the world - specifically plastic waste - and to reducing CO2 emissions.

The WCA will establish an internal knowledge exchange platform at global level. It will also help create required framework conditions for an accelerated deployment of waste co-processing through joint advocacy efforts, recommendations on enabling regulatory frameworks and Public-Private Partnerships.

4. Exploring the potential of innovative technologies

Validated technologies and established improvement levers are currently insufficient to deliver on a 2°C scenario. The remaining technological gap is huge. The WCA recognizes the need to enhance innovation and knowledge exchange efforts. It will bring its contribution through regular knowledge dissemination activities culminating in the organisation of a yearly Global Climate Change Forum bringing together renowned experts in related technologies. It will also reach out to equipment suppliers to work collaboratively on technological challenges.

  • In 2018-2019, low-carbon binders and new cements, CCS/U technologies (Carbon Capture and Storage or Use) as well as the potential positive contribution of digital technologies will be proposed to our Members: low-carbon alternative binders and new cement types should be systematically evaluated in terms of performance, in particularly resistance and durability, life-cycle environmental performance and economic viability. Application demonstration and standardization aspects must also be considered.
  • in order to achieve the Paris Agreement objective, it is anticipated that - beyond emission mitigation efforts - residual carbon emissions will have to be collected and recirculated as resources for other industrial processes or - ultimately - sustainably stored. Several technological options are being considered both for carbon use and carbon storage. The commercial use of these techniques will need suitable monitoring and reporting methods and regulation.
  • digital technologies create new opportunities for enhanced energy and resource efficiency, innovative business models and - consequently - CO2 emission mitigation.

The WCA will also regularly update its members about most relevant regulatory developments related to climate change - and more specifically to CO2 emission mitigation - throughout the world.

5. New business opportunities and innovative business models

The World Cement Association and its members acknowledge the crucial challenge that climate change represents for our planet and our society.

The WCA will develop a process for recognition of the most innovative products, solutions and/or business models supporting the transition to a low-carbon built environment and to more resilient communities against detrimental consequences of climate change.