Green cement and green concrete are the core ingredient for the green building solutions that has gained momentum in the country, and the world across in the recent past. With India committing to Net Zero by 2070, I believe this momentum will gain further traction in the new year.
In 2022, the cement sector will play an instrumental role in the recovery of the Indian economy, as the government is launching stimulus packages with a focus on infrastructure and climate.
With sustainable material solutions, cement companies are in a prime position to be a catalyst to build back better.
2022 looks bright
After seeing some slowdown in demand at the start of the current fiscal, the Indian cement sector will close the year on a more positive note. Though the demand for cement in the first few months dropped by 12% (April to June 2021), the full fiscal is likely to see the industry grow by 8-9%.
The mid to long-term outlook for the industry looks quite encouraging, with the current financial year likely to see a 8-9% growth in GDP. The optimism over 2022 and beyond is well grounded on the massive public and private investment in construction including the $1.35 trillion government spending on the National Infrastructure Plan announced on the eve of India’s 75th year of Independence.
The government-backed $0.62 trillion affordable housing projects along with private investment in the construction sector will also continue to fire-up the Indian cement sector in the coming years.
Growth momentum to continue in 2022
India’s dominance in the global cement market as second largest producer remains attractive for domestic and global investments in the sector. Cement companies are expected to add more than 80 million tonnes in capacity over the next two to three years, taking the total to around 550-600 million tonnes a year.
Sustainability to become a core issue
With the spending and investment priorities well in place, the Indian cement sector will continue to push its decarbonisation agenda to ensure the industry and the larger economy achieves the long-term Net Zero goals. Large cement companies have backed this commitment by increasing the dependence on clean energy sources and implementing circular economy across the sector.
As one of the largest contributors to the global greenhouse gas emissions at around 8%, the cement sector sees decarbonisation as an immediate priority and a big opportunity to create a more sustainable future.
The momentum to maintain the investment in sustainability leading to a greener cement sector will not be effective without the active participation of end consumers, including government buyers. The vital link that will close the loop and ensure the industry shifts from OPC to green cement can be forged only through the support of consumers.
The quickest way to do this would be increase the off-take of green cement in government projects that will eventually help achieve scale and make them more affordable for private consumers too. When this happens, India will be able to lead the global cement sector towards a sustainable future.
Keeping up the guard against the pandemic
The New Year will also bring new challenges. But there is no challenge the society can’t overcome as long as we work together and stay focused on our priorities. With the pandemic still not completely controlled, we believe everyone should keep up their guard, ensuring our people, communities and business operations are safe for all.