Indian Chamber of Commerce Organises 6th Cementing India Conference

The Indian Chamber of Commerce organised the 6th Cementing India, a conference on Cement Industry, on 8th December at The Park, Kolkata, to discuss Sustainability & achieving Decarbonisation in Cement Industry; Innovative Supply Chain Strategies in Cement Industry; and Innovative use of Concrete in Construction & Precast Concrete Projects – Trends and Innovations. Esteemed dignitaries like Mr. Gajendra Pratap Singh, Jt. President – Corporate Affairs, Shree Cement Ltd; Mr. Vinit Kumar Tiwari, CEO, Star Cement; Mr. Niladri N Bhattacharjee, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP; Mr Madhusudan Rasiraju, Managing Director, IKN India; and Dr. Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce, along with other industry stalwarts, shared their expert opinions, adding significance to the event.

Delivering the inaugural address, Director General ICC, Rajeev Singh, said, “ Cement plays a vital role in building our economy. It has potential to contribute to tax generation and foreign direct investment. Nonetheless, cement is a primary source of carbon emissions. Countries are pledging to cut down emissions and the indigenous industry is actively taking steps for mitigative strategies. Reduction in CO2 emission is a huge process and the industry is reliant on using technologies in the practice. In recent years, it has seen an increase in green financing too. The industry is focusing on sustainability strategies and goals too.”

Alluding to the emerging trends within the indigenous cement industry, Joint President, Corporate Affairs, Shree Cement, Gajendra Pratap Singh, said, “The industry is in full swing to become sustainable and achieve zero carbonisation. It is focusing on the country’s climate and Green agenda along with technological innovation, which is key to achieve the goals. With the rise in CO2 emissions, sustainability has a very important role to play in days to come. As a leading player in the industry, Shree Cement has undertaken numerous measures towards achieving the industry’s sustainability goals. We have started utilising synthetic gypsum instead of mineral gypsum. As a nation, we have progressed a lot but there is still room for improvement.”

Commenting on the issue, Chief Executive Officer, Star Cement, Vinit Kumar Tiwari, opined, “In response to rising global temperatures and its environmental impact, a greener and sustainable future has become a sounding call. Our country sits as a cornerstone for international collaboration in the global context. Initiatives like green deposit schemes underline the substantial development of government machinery in their efforts towards reaching the goals. Our carbon reduction targets can be realised by the commitment to creating finances for vulnerable factors like climate change. The Indian cement sector is witnessing rapid urbanization. Moreover, the active involvement of stakeholders in long-term sustainability goals has been pivotal in reducing carbon emissions. The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy within the sector has helped bolster de-carbonisation goals.

Speaking at the event, Partner, Grant Thorton Bharat, Niladri Bhattarcharjee, “The global cement industry is the third largest energy consumer and second largest carbon emitter. Comparatively, India’s average statistics are better than the global average. Nonetheless, there is room for improvement. The structure of the homegrown cement industry is such that large players will spearhead the adoption of changes. Customers will become sensible and demand greener commodities in the future. Therefore, we have a responsibility to carry out. While India aims to achieve NET zero by 2050, the cement industry also has to play its part by coming up with different solutions such as waste recovery. Manufacturing digital technologies will also help in the struggle for de-carbonisation. So, we still have a lot of space for improvement.”

Speaking on similar lines, Managing Director, IKN India, Madhusudan Rasiraju, said, “India has to invest in infrastructural spending to reach its goals. Apart from the cement industry, we need steel, water and other resources to be recycled and reused. The cement sector needs to increase its inputs and also help reduce the use of fossil fuel-derived energy drastically.”