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Editorial comment

The trouble with a material that’s centuries old, reliable, flexible, resilient and relatively easy to manufacture is that people tend to take it for granted. The myriad benefits of cement and concrete are often swept under the rug in favour of ‘trendier’ discussions about sustainability and climate change. And while the cement industry is busy working out ways to utilise alternative fuels, capture greenhouse gas emissions and create products that offer unparalleled thermal efficiency (as just one example), we perhaps don’t do enough to shout about our strengths (pun intended).

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Enter The Concrete Initiative, a new enterprise formed by CEMBUREAU, together with the European Federation of Precast Concrete and the European Ready-Mixed Concrete Organization. The Concrete Initiative was founded with the aim of engaging stakeholders on the issue of sustainable construction, pointing out the benefits of concrete to the economy, to society and to the environment. You can find a launch video on, but here are some key facts from The Concrete Initiative:*

  • For every €1 spent on construction output, a total of €3 is generated in total economic activity.
  • The concrete used in the Channel Tunnel is guaranteed to last for 120 years. (How’s that for sustainable?)
  • Existing concrete technology enables energy consumption in buildings of just 50 kWh/m2/year or less.
  • The concrete industry as a whole employs more than half a million people in the EU.

The Concrete Initiative wants to help stakeholders understand the role of concrete in sustainable construction. It’s important that cement producers also understand their responsibility when it comes to advocacy and education. What is your company doing to promote the use of concrete? Share your stories and ideas on our LinkedIn group, on Facebook and on Twitter.

I hope you enjoy this issue of World Cement, which includes 90 pages of international contract and project news, otherwise known as our annual World Review. It’s a great opportunity to sit down and get some perspective on how – and where – the industry is progressing. Thank you to those companies that submitted entries this year. For those who missed out, do look out for our invitation in February 2015 and make note of the April 2015 deadline. And, of course, you can submit your news all year long for our website and magazine by emailing me at