We aim to contribute to the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries, by creating opportunities for innovative, low-carbon materials and products, specifically in the cement, concrete and steel value chains. To this end, ECOS will contribute to continued development of standards supporting a circular and performance-based approach to cement, cementitious materials, and concrete, as well as steel and steel-based products, largely used for construction.
The updated industrial strategy presented by the European Commission last month lacks clear and sufficient links with the upcoming EU policies for sustainable products. To meet the 2050 net zero targets and make sustainable products the norm, the Commission needs to develop a bolder and more coherent package of measures across its Industrial Strategy and the Sustainable Product Initiative, and take a better approach to the use of standards in this context.
9 February 2021 was a big day for the environment. Members of the European Parliament had the courage to say it as it is: the EU will only achieve a truly sustainable circular economy if we stop overconsuming. They clearly pointed to the key missing piece of the puzzle, calling for the introduction of two binding targets to significantly reduce the EU’s material and consumption footprints by 2030.
Two of the world’s main polluters are hidden in plain sight. Cement and steel, so commonly used in the construction sector, represent approximately 13% of our CO2 emissions combined - a perfect example of the impact that energy intensive industries have on our planet’s deterioration. They are both typically produced using highly polluting methods, and we are nowhere near reducing the resulting emissions, even though more sustainable options exist.