Over the past few years, more attention has been paid to the sustainability of industry than ever before, and as a global construction materials company vertically integrated in chemical admixtures, Cemex is well situated to support its customers as they strive to reduce their carbon footprint while leveraging admixtures to create value in its core business.
Across the globe, consumers and businesses alike have woken up to the realities of climate change and their contribution to global carbon emissions, with the cement industry at the centre of the crisis as one of the most significant global contributors.
Cemex believes that climate action is this generation’s biggest challenge and the construction industry has a clear role to play in this effort. The statistics are well known, the cement industry is the cause of up to 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions. However, many industry players have been and will continue to work hard to reduce this and have made serious pledges to adapt their operations to do so. Indeed, members of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), including Cemex, have committed to net zero concrete by 2050 and agreed to an ambitious intermediate goal of preventing 5 billion t of CO2 emissions by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual scenario, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of almost 15 billion passenger flights from Paris to New York.
Cemex has a comprehensive ‘Future In Action’ programme that includes a Climate Action strategy, defining a global target to achieve a 47% CO2 reduction per ton of cementitious material by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, a goal which is validated to the 1.5°C scenario of the Science-Based Targets initiative. In Europe, the target is a 55% reduction by 2030 and Cemex was the first company in the sector to align itself with the EU’s aspiration to achieve this across all member states.
But it is not just about setting the targets – the industry must take urgent action to achieve them and demonstrate that it takes these commitments seriously. At Cemex, action has already resulted in CO2 emissions across its global portfolio falling by 30% since 1990, and in Europe by around 41%. Globally, the company has already achieved a 35% alternative fuel substitution rate, with investment taking place across the business to improve this. In two years, Cemex has reduced specific emissions by 9%, a reduction that took more than a decade to achieve in the past.
Furthermore, in 2022 alone, Cemex achieved a 5% CO2 emissions reduction per ton of cementitious material. This reduction, together with the increased use of clean electricity, allowed the company to avoid emitting over 11 million t of CO2, equivalent to the annual emissions of 2.4 million passenger vehicles.
While Cemex is proud of these achievements, there is still plenty more to be done and the company believes strong action in the next decade will be critical to set the path towards the 2050 commitment to be net zero. If the industry is to meet this goal then everyone, no matter the size or perceived adaptability of their business, will have to make sustainability a priority.