Industry achieves 4% drop since 2005 according to data published today

Carbon emissions resulting from the manufacture of cement have dropped almost 4% since 2005 according to new figures released today.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) uses figures from over 900 production facilities, representing almost a third of global production, to calculate the CO2 emissions intensity per tonne of cement produced.

The data shows a 3.8% reduction in specific net CO2 emissions since 2005 and a 14.3% reduction since 1990. According to the CSI the figures demonstrate that modern cement blending methods, alternative fuels and the improved energy efficiency of new kilns are providing a reduction in the amount of CO2 emitted per tonne of cement produced

However, it stressed that the important aspect of the findings are the specific, not absolute reductions.

“Building and infrastructure projects, particularly in developing countries, will continue to increase demand for concrete - of which cement is the key ingredient. Independent predictions show that this demand will see cement production almost double in the next 20 years.” said Dr Howard Klee, program director at the CSI.

China, which is responsible for almost 50% of cement produced globally, has reduced net emissions significantly claims the report as a result of an ongoing program of kiln replacement.

It also reveals a reduction in absolute CO2 emissions from companies reporting to the CSI database. These dropped for the first time since data has been gathered, from 596 million tonnes in 2007 to 577 million tonnes in 2008. This reduction reflects the impact of the economic downturn and global slowdown in construction activity.

The CSI’s global cement database is a voluntary, independently-managed CO2 and energy performance system that provides annual data on the cement industry.