Celebrating 111 years is an impressive achievement for a magazine! It is a clear signal of resilience and continued relevance to significant industries such as the cement, lime and gypsum sectors.

As a relatively “young” organisation who just celebrated its 61 years of existence in Brussels at the end of April 2022, Eurogypsum wanted to thank ZKG Cement Lime Gypsum for its major role in facilitating information and communication about our branches over so many years. Current times show us the value of having reliable information, for company, sectoral, political but also individual decisions.

Representing the interests of the European gypsum industry, from the raw material supply to the production of plaster, plasterboard and other gypsum solutions, as well as the reprocessing of waste in an increasingly circular economy, Eurogypsum is particularly interested in having access to, and being able to share information about the societal challenges Europe is facing and how industries like ours can contribute with solutions.

Today more than ever, Europe needs efficient and affordable buildings to achieve the ambitious goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. Modern gypsum solutions are crucial to achieve this transition. Not only do they form part of energy efficiency systems in buildings, but they provide our homes and offices with fire safety, healthy temperature and indoor air, or acoustic comfort. Lightweight construction with gypsum facilitates space adjustments, therefore increasing buildings’ lifespans, and enables new urban development concepts such as the vertical extension, by adding new living or working spaces on top of existing buildings.

A key feature of gypsum is its eternal recyclability, which has enabled the plasterboard industry to set up closed loop recycling systems. We will therefore support the policy focus on promoting circularity and sustainable production, best exemplified with the latest EU Sustainable Product Initiative and the proposed revision of the Construction Products Regulation.

Recycling is one among several sustainable sourcing practices. Our industry is committed to supporting biodiversity in gypsum quarries and will expand this work further, supporting the EU Biodiversity Strategy towards 2030. The sector is also investigating innovative solutions for gypsum supply, for instance in lithium processing.

The holistic approach to sustainability also requires further thinking about the manufacturing process. The sustainable factory of tomorrow will have to tackle externalities, such as energy reduction by electrification or renewable energy use in gypsum processing, and its domestic economic integration.

To properly communicate the advantages of our products and their contribution to sustainable and effective building systems, product environmental information will be decisive. Digital tools such as product passports can help and are just one among many examples of how digitalisation can support the transition of the whole construction ecosystem.

We believe ZKG will be a major enabler to share ideas and experience among our sectors, and help us all play our part in this transition.