Leading building materials company LafargeHolcim announced today that it is partnering with Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to develop a roadmap for aligning climate targets to a 1.5°C future in the cement sector. The company has become the first global building materials company to sign SBTi’s “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” pledge, setting intermediate 2030 targets, validated by SBTi, In line with the criteria of keeping warming to well-below 2°C.

SBTi was formed as a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with the goal to establish science-based environmental target setting as a standard corporate practice. Achieving approval of targets by SBTi is a significant milestone for companies’ sustainability efforts.

Building materials companies are coming increasingly in focus in the fight against climate change, due to the carbon-intensity of their primary products. Cement production, an ingredient in concrete, accounts for approximately 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions, with over 900 kg of CO2 emissions generated for every 1000 kg of material produced.

Jan Jenisch, LafargeHolcim CEO, said:

“I believe in building a world that works for people and the planet. That’s why we are reinventing how the world builds today to make it greener with low-carbon and circular solutions. I am very excited to be working with SBTi, taking a rigorous science-based approach to shape our net zero roadmap and accelerating our efforts to substantially lower our CO2 footprint. I will not stop pushing the boundaries to lead the way in green construction.”

LafargeHolcim’s interim targets include a commitment to reduce scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions 21% per ton of cementitious materials by 2030 from a 2018 base year. The company has committed to reduce scope 1 GHG emissions 17.5% per ton of cementitious material and scope 2 GHG emissions 65% per ton of cementitious materials within the same timeframe.

Magali Anderson, Chief Sustainability Officer, said:

“As the world’s largest cement producer, we have a key role to play in addressing today’s climate crisis. On our way to becoming a net zero company, we are not only part of the solution, we are committed to supporting our customers in their CO2-reduction ambitions. No company can tackle today’s climate challenge alone, that’s why we are partnering for impact.”

In addition to the company’s scope 1 and 2 targets, LafargeHolcim stated that it will expand its actions across its value chain to include scope 3 emissions, aiming to reduce its transportation and fuel-related emissions by 20%.

The company has recently announced numerous emission reduction initiatives, including the global rollout of its ECOPact low carbon concrete, and joined the Global Cement and Concrete Association’s (GCCA) 2050 Climate Ambition, aiming to drive down the CO2 footprint of building materials, and aspiring to deliver carbon neutral concrete by 2050.

Alberto Carrillo, Director, Science Based Targets at CDP, said:

“We at SBTi are delighted that LafargeHolcim has joined the group of over 290 industry leaders committed to a 1.5°C future. As the largest player in one of the most carbon-intensive industries, LafargeHolcim’s leadership demonstrates that a net zero economy is within reach.”