What strategies can help decarbonize the construction industry

In this episode of the Sustainability Matters podcast, the speakers discuss how cement manufacturers can provide sustainable value with their decarbonization strategies.

In this episode of the Sustainability Matters podcast, the spotlight is turned to the often underestimated impact of the global building and materials industry, specifically cement production, on climate change. Despite playing a crucial role in our everyday lives, this industry's significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and extensive energy and natural resource consumption is often overlooked.

Host Bruno Sarda is joined by EY Latin America Climate Change and Sustainability Services leader Ruth Guevara and Vicente Saiso, Global Vice President of Sustainability at CEMEX, a global leader in the building materials industry, to talk about bold decarbonization strategies in such an important sector.

Vicente acknowledges the cement industry’s significant contribution to global emissions but highlights its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, mentioning key strategies involving alternative fuels, use of waste materials and adoption of innovative technologies such as hydrogen in production processes. He explains how, through this process to decarbonize, CEMEX has found business opportunities and cost benefits.

Ruth and Vicente discuss the role of waste management in creating a circular economy in the cement industry. Vicente shares how CEMEX turned waste repurposing into a business opportunity by providing services to construction customers to manage their construction and demolition waste, which contributes significantly to global waste management.

The episode then explores the innovative and ambitious technologies CEMEX is pursuing to help them play the opposite role and actually reduce environmental impact through cement production.

Lastly, the guests shed light on how stakeholder support is crucial for companies' decarbonization initiatives.

Key takeaways:

  • Recognizing its environmental footprint, the cement industry is embracing various sustainability strategies to reduce the environmental impact and yield new financial results.
  • Sustainability initiatives are viewed as vital to the industry's future by investors, indicating that companies need to consider decarbonization and circularity in their strategic planning.
  • Using waste productively in the cement production process contributes to a circular economy by replacing fuels and raw materials, and simultaneously creating new business opportunities.
  • Stakeholder engagement is crucial on all levels to reduce the industry's carbon footprint.

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For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available.


Season 5, Episode 7


36m 31s