Cement producers confront a business challenge in which managing energy and carbon emissions now have enormous strategic value.
Canadian and American governments recently reaffirmed their commitment to keep the global average temperature rise to less than 2°C. To achieve this outcome, they are dramatically reducing carbon emissions in North American markets by 2030.
The cement sector generates one quarter of global industrial CO2 emissions. In order to cut economy-wide emissions in half in the next 10 years, cement manufacturers will be under significant pressure to decarbonize their products and production processes.
Many in the cement industry might view these changes in the business environment as risks. At 360 Energy, we also see them as opportunities. A low carbon future can be a driver for the sector to innovate new and valuable construction solutions.
Our experience working with cement manufacturers tells us there are a number of options immediately available to begin the process of decarbonizing cement production and reducing operational costs:
- Cut energy use and energy intensity to save millions of dollars with negligible capital investments.
- Navigate energy and carbon markets to reduce procurement costs.
- Alter production schedules.
- Recover waste energy to reduce dependency on suppliers and utilities.
- Assess on-site power generation and low carbon emission fuels.
Emerging technologies may offer competitive advantages. Or, they may not live up to the promises made by sale representatives. Cement producers must have knowledgeable, reliable, independent advice prior to investing in new technologies.
Cement producers that commit to a lower carbon emissions pathway will not only mitigate serious risks. Supply-chain turbulence, sector reputation risks and regulatory costs can inspire new thinking and innovation. Cement manufacturers can use this seminal time to re-think their business strategies and re-define their value proposition.