A study published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), commissioned by CEMBUREAU, outlines the competitiveness of the cement industry in Europe and its role in helping the region achieve its goals of developing a sustainable, resource efficient and innovative society.
In a statement released yesterday, the European cement association said the report shows that the cement and concrete industry in Europe contributes to the economy with a total production value of €74bn, a value added of €22bn as well as ~366 thousand jobs(1). It also underlines that the industry plays a vital role in generating growth, particularly given that investment in infrastructure has one of the highest multiplier effects on the economy as it can duplicate the initial spending over several quarters, and triplicate it over a period of 20 years.
During the launch event, held in Brussels, Mr. Calleja Crespo, Director General DG Enterprise, European Commission highlighted that "Europe needs an industrial policy in place that will support the economic recovery and help to keep a highly competitive, diversified and strong industrial base in Europe." He also emphasised "the importance of the cement industry to Europe and to the sustainable functioning of our economy."
CEMBUREAU President, Ignacio Madridejos, added: "We are pleased to see that the focus of the European institutions, including of the European Commission, is precisely on ways to enhance Europe’s competitiveness. Through our innovative products and processes, we are confident that cement and concrete can be positioned as the products of choice for construction: as locally sourced and produced products, they will help building Europe’s infrastructure that protects people, property and environment."
In this respect, the study indicates that the cement industry is currently under pressure due to a combination of the macroeconomic environment, rising energy prices in Europe and the lack of a consistent regulatory framework that allows for long-term investment planning. The sector is no longer obtaining reasonable returns, as average return on capital over the last four years has been between 3- 5 per cent below the cost of capital. The study also highlights the unique contribution of the cement sector, as a competitive local industry, to Europe’s priorities in terms of economic growth, resource- and energy-efficiency (both in processes and products), innovation and biodiversity.
"With this study, CEMBUREAU aims to put itself at the heart of Europe’s priorities and that is the focus on competitiveness, growth and jobs’, stated Koen Coppenholle, CEMBUREAU Chief Executive, adding: "Both industry and policymakers must therefore work together in order to identify actions to address the current challenges faced by the sector."
(1) Data for cement and concrete for EU-27 and Turkey. Source Eurostat and CEMBUREAU.