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The CSI is a global initiative, reflected in the over 100 countries in which its members operate. As part of its global mission, the CSI is using its technical expertise and policy experience to help address sustainability concerns in emerging economies, particularly in China and India where booming infrastructure development fuels demand for cement.

The CSI estimates that 80% of the future emissions from cement plants will take place in these developing economies. Many of the issues the CSI addresses – climate change, employee health and safety, POPs emissions, for example – cross national and international boundaries. For the global cement industry to become more sustainable, especially with regard to achieving significant cuts in CO2 emissions, China in particular needs to be and has become an active contributor to climate protection efforts.

Today China alone produces over half of the world’s cement, and this proportion is expected to rise further in the years to come, driven by continued economic development and cement demand as China provides housing and infrastructure for its burgeoning population. It is a delicate balancing act – cement is a key material for any country’s economic and social development, but the cement sector has an ecological footprint that it needs to manage over the long term.

In response, the CSI has made emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Russia – the BRIC economies – a focal point for CSI efforts in capacity-building and in distributing guidelines and best practices for climate management. The CSI has conducted training workshops in China on use of the WBCSD/CSI CO2 Accounting and Reporting Protocol, in close cooperation with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP), and organized sustainability discussion forums in both China and India for the local cement industries. The CSI is currently helping its five new CSI member companies to implement the CSI Charter commitments, which they signed up to when joining the Initiative.

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