Zhi Ping Song, president of the World Cement Association (WCA), called on the cement industry to take greater initiative in proactively tackling problems it is likely to face in the years ahead, especially in the all-important area of climate change.
“There are some storm clouds gathering on the horizon for the cement industry, and we must work together now to repair the roof while the sun is still shining,” said Song. “This will require all stakeholders, regardless of size, group or country, to cooperate internationally and share best practice.”
He further emphasized that it is particularly important to engage stakeholders in emerging as well as developed markets, as this is where much of the world’s new capacity is coming on stream and construction is taking place.
In the last six months, the WCA has welcomed 16 cement producers as new members. Collectively they represent a total capacity of nearly one billion tonnes, and come from 13 different countries. Because a large proportion of WCA’s diverse and international membership hails from emerging markets, the association hopes that by more effectively involving these organizations in global industry responses to key issues it will be able to have a meaningful impact through early action.
Song, who is also chairman of China National Building Material Co., praised in particular the WCA’s unique founding principle of equal representation. All WCA corporate members carry the same voting rights in the organization, allowing them to engage with each other on an equal basis to collaboratively deal with the challenges faced by the industry worldwide.
The association will bring together cement industry leaders from all over the world for the WCA Global Climate Change Forum in Paris, June 27-28. The forum will address some of the most pressing environmental challenges facing the sector and develop a roadmap to improve the global image of the industry.