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MPA publishes 2013 Sustainable Development report

Published by
World Cement,

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) Cement has published its 2013 Sustainable Development report, which highlights the challenges the industry faces in remaining competitive and contributing to a sustainable UK economy. It identifies UK specific carbon costs being applied to the sector as a major burden and potential threat to the future of the industry and calls on the UK Government to continue to fight for a level playing field, which will allow the sector to compete against overseas suppliers and other competing construction materials.

“The UK Cement industry’s track record on carbon reduction is second to none and we were the first national cement sector trade association in the world to publish a 2050 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy in February 2013,” said Pal Chana, Executive Director, MPA Cement. “Yet a UK only carbon price support tax that took effect in April 2013 will be applied in full to cement, whereas some competing construction materials will receive compensation from the government for most of the extra costs that they will incur. This is at a time when compensation is also being paid to those same industries for the indirect costs associated with the EU Emissions Trading System. This imbalance just adds to the cumulative cost burden that the cement industry has to bear and distorts fair competition.”

European State Aid rules currently prevent MPA Cement members from being compensated against these externally imposed costs and this is undermining the industry’s future economic sustainability.

Cement is an essential ingredient of concrete, which will play a crucial role in the delivery of the government’s multi billion pound infrastructure and housing programmes. Yet, between 2014 and 2020, the UK cement industry faces £353 million of costs associated with carbon reduction, passed on in electricity prices, which many of its competitors will not have. This puts domestically produced cement at an immediate disadvantage.

“Britain needs an economically sustainable domestic cement industry in order to have a sustainable domestic economy and one that can compete globally," added Chana. “Maintaining the UK cement industry’s competitiveness, while improving performance, remains a top priority for MPA Cement and should be one for the UK Government. Sustainable local production of cement is not just for the benefit of our members, but essential for the whole country.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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