The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) was launched recently to enable companies in the cement and concrete industry to set near- and long-term science-based targets in line with 1,5°C for the first time.

Cement industry global emissions

With the cement industry being responsible for 7% of CO₂ emissions globally, it needs to get on track to cut its emissions by 3% per year by 2030.

The guidance is designed for clinker, cement and concrete manufacturers, as well as producers of novel binders and cement substitutes. The framework also supports companies that purchase cement in the target-setting process for their scope 3 emissions.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

The SBTi, the global body enabling businesses to set emissions reduction targets in line with the latest climate science, has launched the first framework for companies in the cement sector and other potential users of cement, such as construction businesses, to set near- and long-term science-based targets in line with 1,5°C – the Cement Science Based Target Setting Guidance.

This document provides the scientific basis for sector-specific 1,5°C decarbonisation pathways. It includes detailed guidance on how to set targets and deal with processes that are specific to the cement and concrete sector, greenhouse gas accounting criteria and recommendations, and examples of how different types of companies can use the tools and guidance to submit a target for validation.

The SBTi Cement Guidance includes clinker, cement and concrete manufacturers, companies that do not produce their own clinker or cement, construction businesses, producers of novel binders and cement substitutes and companies that purchase cement.

Companies committing to net zero

To date, more than 30 cement companies have committed to or set a science-based target, of which a third is committed to net zero. It is crucial to exponentially grow the number of companies setting emissions reduction targets in this industry, if they are to remain economically competitive and minimise human suffering from the impacts of global warming.

Decarbonising the cement industry

Each year about 4,4 Gt of cement is produced. For every ton of cement manufactured, approximately 0,6 tons of CO₂ are released. Through this guidance, the SBTi outlines how much and how quickly a company within the cement value chain needs to cut its emissions to limit global warming to 1,5°C.

Developing the first 1,5°C science-based pathway for cement

We are facing a turning point in history – unless the world immediately and drastically cuts emissions in the next eight years, a climate catastrophe cannot be prevented.

Cement companies must urgently act on the clear warnings from climate science, show leadership to achieve a net-zero economy, and build a sustainable and resilient future by setting science-based targets and continuing monitoring and reporting their own progress.

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https://sciencebasedtargets.org/news/sbti-launches-world-first-1-5-c-science-based-framework-to-decarbonize-the-cement-industry for the information in this editorial.

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