Making transformation happen: Cement sector growing together through the Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs constitute a bold plan to address socio-economic, environment and societal challenges of our time.

Philippe Fonta, Managing Director, WBCSD addressing the forum

NEW DELHI: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) organized 11th Annual forum in New Delhi, celebrating how, through sharing knowledge and experience, the private sector can capture and build on the opportunities offered by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and understand the risks of inaction.

Through open and constructive debates, the Forum examined and evaluated the new framework set up by the SDGs to tackle the sustainability challenges that businesses and societies must face together. On the basis of a risk and opportunity assessment, the Forum also explored areas where the cement and concrete industry could take leading steps to engage with the SDGs.

The important sustainability forum for the cement industry, being organized in a different location every year over the past decade, which encourage to interact with key stakeholders and also gives voice to local and regional participants.

This year Forum was hosted by – Dalmia Bharat Cement and UltraTech Cement, in partnership with other CSI members and the Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) of India.

This theme focused on the SDGs, with an emphasis on areas that are most relevant and critical for the cement and concrete sectors.

The scale and ambition of the 2030 development agenda creates further opportunities for the private sector to demonstrate the central role it plays in sustainable development and to serve as an essential partner to bridging the gap in financial and technological capacity necessary to meet the challenges of achieving the SDGs.

Philippe Fonta, Managing Director, WBCSD said, “The priorities of the CSI remain in the two key areas of Climate & Energy and in Safety & Health, making SDG3 and SDG13 the most relevant ones for our initiative. However, all 17 SDGs are addressed in some way, both by the sector and right across the value chain, and the development of an SDG Framework will help to coordinate the effort, which we strongly endorse at this Forum.”

KK Maheshwari, Managing Director, UltraTech Cement said, “The cement industry constitutes one of the core sectors and plays a vital role in the growth and development. In the last three years alone, it has created production capacity of 52 million tons thus catalyzing employment in rural part where the plants are primarily located.”

“Cement sector is driving thought and practice leadership in the sustainability space. It is imperative for us as an industry to accelerate the implementation of our sustainability commitments to contribute in a meaningful manner to the SDGs.”, further added.

Mahendra Singhi, Group CEO (Cement), Dalmia Bharat Cement said, “The SDGs mirror an image of a happy, healthy, safe, auspicious and peaceful world envisioned in our sacred books as back as 2,000 BC. Realization of this ambitious vision is no longer limited to public and private sector. The scale of implementation and the limited timeframe necessitates every Individual to become a change agent of development agenda for creating a better world.”

Aparna Dutt Sharma, Secretary General, CMA, stated, “The globally energy efficient Indian cement industry is geared to move ahead to deliver on the SDGs. CMA is happy to partner with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to bring the first annual meet of the Cement Sustainability Initiative to India.”

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