Whenever I try to explain the beauty of our industry to people who have no connection to cement other than seeing that grey old dusty powder in the most remote alleyways of their hardware store, I ask them: “Do you know an industry, which manufactures man’s most produced product on earth, with probably the lowest specific headcount and which is at the same time deeply grounded in its local environment as well as completely internationalized?” I have not yet experienced one single occasion where my partner was not surprised to hear about what makes our industry so special.
The cement industry is probably the smallest internationally connected industry community of the world with such an impact on our lives. Maybe it helps, that selling the cement itself is a regionally limited business, which makes it easy for cement plants to cooperate and share knowledge with another plant which is operating so far away that it does not interfere in its sales region. But also, the ten million technical complexities, which the nature of the process and the utilized raw materials and fuels evoke in everyday operation, have always fostered the cooperation among cement producers.
This issue’s special focus is on one of these congregations of cement producers, the World Cement Association, WCA. Like other established associations, e.g. the global cement and concrete association (GCCA) and numerous national associations all over the world, these congregations come together to help each other in improving their business and developing solutions for the upcoming challenges. And there are a lot as you know:
Which new technologies will help to reduce energy consumption and emissions?
How will digitization help cement producers?
How can we select the right technology to decarbonize, as those technologies are only partially ready-for use and will still have to be developed along the timeline?
Together with colleagues from all over the world we are working on these pressing questions and we understand that this can be done only by close collaboration. As this is a strength of our industry, I believe we can get it done!