The new president of the Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA) has begun his tenure with a call for more effort to decarbonise construction.
Fernando Gonzalez, chief executive of Mexico-based Cemex was elected as the GCCA’s new president this month. He succeeded previous incumbent, Jan Jenisch.
The organisation says its members are committed to achieving Net Zero concrete by 2050.
Gonzalez is calling for the industry and governments around the world to establish a “robust regulatory framework” that can further accelerate the cement and concrete sector’s decarbonisation efforts.
He said: “It is a great honour to be president of the GCCA – cement and concrete are the world’s essential building materials. As an industry, we’ve gone beyond the commitment phase to taking decisive action today to reduce our CO2 emissions.
“While we are making important progress today on our 2030 goals, we currently have the opportunity to accelerate even more the pace of our industry’s decarbonisation if we can achieve the right regulatory policies and support from governments around the world.
“That’s why my number one priority, as the new president of the GCCA, is to collaborate closely with governments and industry to facilitate our roadmap levers.”
Gonzalez has been GCCA vice president since 2018, and succeeds the outgoing president, Jan Jenisch, whose term of office now ends after two years.
The new president is seeking to galvanize collective efforts to cut emissions, setting out the following priorities for industry and governments:
- Take decisive action to phase out fossil fuels and promote the use of alternative fuels by encouraging regulation to divert societal waste from landfill to cement kilns
- Enact policies to accelerate the extensive adoption of low-carbon construction products
- Establish market-driven carbon pricing mechanisms around the world to incentivise industry to decarbonise and further develop technology focused on reducing emissions
- Collaborate and provide funding to develop new technologies to decarbonise manufacturing processes and help speed up the rollout of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage
Thomas Guillot, te GCCA’s chief executive, said: “I look forward to working closely with Fernando over the next two years as we advance on our net zero roadmap.
“I know he is fully committed to achieving our shared goal, and the hard work and commitments that means for our industry. Our industry’s first two presidents were based in Europe, and it is a sign of progress that Mr Gonzalez is our first president from outside the region. His leadership will play an important role in accelerating our industry’s progress.”
Gonzalez has worked for Cemex since 1998 and brings a wealth of experience in the cement and concrete industry. On the operational side, he has led various regions of Cemex, including Europe, Asia and South Central America, and the Caribbean, and has held corporate positions in strategy, planning, business development, and human resources.
He was appointed executive vice president of planning and development in 2009, chief financial officer in 2011, and has been the company’s chief executive since 2014.
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