During the World Cement Association’s (WCA) virtual General Assembly Meeting on Dec. 10, association president Song Zhiping called on the cement industry to unite around the environment and fair competition in a post-pandemic world.
Reflecting on what has been a very difficult year for the global economy, Song spoke about how the cement industry has tackled many challenges in recent months, ultimately finding new balance and seeking different directions to adapt to the reality of COVID-19. Looking ahead, he highlighted two main areas of focus for the world’s cement industry post-COVID.
First, improving the harmonious co-existence of production and environment. This pandemic served to remind us of the importance of aligning industrial activities toward sustainability, and WCA said it will continue to provide guidance to members on contributing to the long-term development of a sustainable cement industry.
Song praised the work that the association has been doing in this area, in particular, the recently launched PEGASUS benchmarking project. PEGASUS gives members the opportunity to measure their performance on a range of environmental metrics against best practice and explore ways of closing the gap.
The second priority is for individual companies to co-exist effectively with the wider market, supporting rational and fair competition. One impact of this year’s pandemic has been significant disruption to cement demand, bringing about a need to reshape market competition patterns, balance supply and demand, and square production with sales.
“Since its very foundation, WCA has prioritized coexistence between cement production and the environment, and the intertwined development of economy and nature,” said Song. “The cement industry needs to think about how to break through traditional development patterns and reshape the new ones.”