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WBCSD Cement Sustainability Initiative welcomes first Chinese members

World Cement,

Chinese cement companies have signed up to the Cement Sustainability Initiative; marking an important step towards global recognition of sustainable development within the industry. Three Chinese cement companies were welcomed as members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) at a meeting in Geneva yesterday (8th December).

CNBM, Tianrui and Sinoma are the first companies from China to join the CSI. It comes as a result of several years of outreach, stakeholder dialogue, training and workshops that the CSI has undertaken in the region. The announcement marks an important step towards a more sustainable cement industry and now provides the CSI with representation in all the major cement-producing regions of the world; representing some 40% of production worldwide.

50% of the cement currently produced globally is manufactured in China. The three new Chinese member companies have a combined annual production of approximately 200 million t; which is almost as much as the whole of Europe. Bjorn Stigson, President of the WBCSD welcomed the companies, explaining that the cement sector is an important and growing part of the WBCSD’s work programme. “With China as the largest producer, these companies are a welcome and much-needed addition to the CSI.” he said.

Bruno Lafont, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge, who co-chairs the CSI, is also delighted with the companies’ decision to participate. “We are happy and proud to see that very important Chinese cement players are joining the CSI. The membership of CNBM, Tianrui and Sinoma will contribute to enlarge the scope of action and representativeness of our response to the challenges of sustainability. This will enrich our discussions and lead towards future progress.” said Mr Lafont.

An important part was played in the negotiations by the Chinese Cement Association, who also join the CSI as a new communications partner. The focus on the Chinese market, and its importance in global cement sustainability, is set to continue; with the WBCSD’s Council and CSI CEO meetings in Shanghai in November 2010.

Albert Manifold, chief operating officer of CRH plc, who is also a co-chair of the CSI, concluded the welcomes: “CRH welcomes the increasing recognition by the cement industry in China of the importance of the Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and warmly welcomes the three new Chinese members. The long-term sustainability of our industry on a global basis will be significantly enhanced as Chinese companies join our existing members in signing the CSI charter.” he said.

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