The latest Cement Sustainability stakeholder meeting, hosted by the Cement Sustainability Initiative in Brussels, was the scene for productive talks on many of the more complex issues surrounding the industry : alternative fuels, standards and emissions, monitoring and measuring. The value of building links to key international organisations such as the WHO, ILO, ICEM and the Global Reporting Initiative were also under discussion.
The meeting was well attended by representatives of more than 20 different stakeholder groups ranging from major cement companies to environmental organisations.
Vicky Gazideli of Lafarge in Greece, said : "Two key issues for me were the focus of lively debate - and useful feedback. They were the social assessment of local impacts, how to identify, communicate with and understand local stakeholders. This is vital in such a huge global industry with such locally focused operations. Understanding that while broad issues may be the same, impacts differ from site to site is key to ensuring the success of the cement industry's sustainable future. The other issue was the local impacts of quarries, and particularly the resource of limestone. We are keen to ensure that we source wherever we can from non-sensitive areas. As limestone is fairly abundant we want to make sure we focus on environmentally safe areas to operate."
David Cook of The Natural Step International participated in the event and
commented: "The CSI is working well at managing a wide range of issues and making progress with them. It's encouraging to see a global industry working so
hard to improve."
The formal report from the meeting will be available in early 2004. The next
stakeholder meeting is tentatively scheduled for late 2004 in Asia. It will
be the final chance for stakeholder input before the industry honours its
commitment to formally report on interim progress on the targets agreed in
the Agenda for Action in 2005.