Major companies from the cement sector and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have launched the Indian Cement Sector SDG Roadmap at an event organized by WBCSD and UN Global Compact Network India (UN GCNI) in New Delhi.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a universal framework that establishes a collective pathway for humanity to achieve prosperity for people and planet on the road to 2030. While governments have universally resolved to implement the SDGs, ultimately the transformative ambitions of these Goals cannot be realized without strong private sector engagement. At the same time, this framework also represents substantial opportunities for business. Companies that position the SDGs as a strategic lens at the core of their operations, will be better placed to unlock potentially historic market opportunities, manage emerging risks and consolidate an enduring license to operate.
However, the ambitions of the SDGs are beyond the reach of any company in isolation; instead they call for coordination and collective efforts from entire industry sectors. In its flagship Better Business Better World report, the Business & Sustainable Development Commission makes a compelling case for companies to come together with sector peers to develop detailed “roadmaps” to guide their industry’s shift to sustainable development in line with the SDGs.
The Indian Cement Sector has embraced these recommendations and has launched its SDG Roadmap to explore, articulate and help realize the potential of the sector to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through an integrated approach that recognizes material sectoral challenges and opportunities to meet societal needs.
This initiative represents the first country-level roadmap and has been convened by nine leading cement companies: ACC, Ambuja Cement, CRH, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, Heidelberg Cement Shree Cement, Orient Cement, UltraTech Cement as well as Votorantim Cimentos and partially funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
In the development of this Roadmap, the cement sector has implemented the three-step framework described in the WBCSD SDG Sector Roadmap Guidelines. Through this road-mapping process, participating companies and industry associations have established a collective understanding and position on several key factors, including: the sector’s SDG interactions across the cement value chain; key areas where the sector can make the most transformative contributions to the SDGs; and actions that the sector can take to maximize its SDG impact.