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Group photo of six men on stage at the ‘Engaging India at Almedalen’ event, with logos of sponsoring organizations displayed on the screen behind them. The individuals, including the Indian Ambassador to Sweden and executives from SAIL and Cemvision, are dressed in business attire.

Building a stronger partnership for net zero: LeadIT at Almedalen 2024

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Building a stronger partnership for net zero: LeadIT at Almedalen 2024

Almedalen, the heart of Sweden’s political discourse, served as a perfect backdrop for a significant announcement by the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT).

During the “Samband for Climate” session at the Engaging India at Almedalen event, the Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Tanmaya Lal, and Swedish State Secretary for Climate and Environment, Daniel Westlén, introduced two new members to the Group: Cemvision and the Steel Authority of India Ltd.

Jane Birch / Published on 1 July 2024

As new members, both The Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Cemvision have committed to aligning with the Paris Agreement to achieve decarbonization by 2050, though they face different challenges ahead.

For Cemvision, the decarbonization challenge is to bring a new process to market and truly establish themselves as world leaders for net zero cement. The company, less than five years old, now has the financial backing needed to scale up production of their cement made from industrial waste materials like steel-making slag. By replacing virgin limestone from the process, a major source of CO2 emissions is removed, and by using non-fossil fuel energy sources in production, emissions are further reduced.

We’re happy to join LeadIT with their ambitions to lead heavy industries to decarbonize, we see a lot of opportunities and synergies to be made within the strong group of members ranging from governments and countries to leading corporations driving change within their industries

Oscar Hållén, CEO Cemvision

By contrast, SAIL, as one of India’s largest steel producers with seven decades of history, faces the significant challenges posed by the inherently carbon-intensive nature of steel production and, like the vast majority of the Indian steel industry, a historical reliance on coal. With the demand for steel in India predicted to grow in the coming decades, SAIL’s joining of LeadIT and its vision is one important step in a journey to reduce carbon emissions at scale.

There are several compelling reasons for SAIL to join LeadIT, as it brings together conscientious organizations committed to action for net-zero transition. By joining LeadIT, SAIL intends to demonstrate its strong commitment to climate action and align itself with global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Amarendu Prakash, Chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL)

In 2023, Cemvision produced its first fossil-free cement in a pilot plant with a capacity of several hundred tons per year. Following this successful pilot, the company invited collaborations to scale up production to several thousand tons of cement annually. Agreements have since been signed with the Swedish state-owned mining company LKAB and Vattenfalland the company has attracted an additional ten million euros in seed funding from investors. Membership of LeadIT offers Cemvision the possibility of collaborations in emerging markets like India.

SAIL produces iron and steel at five integrated plants and three special steel plants, located principally in the eastern and central regions of India. It also operates a raw materials division with a network of mines providing iron ore for its steel production. The Government of India owns about 65% of SAIL’s equity and retains voting control of the company. However, SAIL, by virtue of its “Maharatna” status, has operational and financial autonomy. India is already the world’s second-largest producer of steel, after China, and the Government’s National Steel Policy envisages further growth in domestic production to meet the demands of a growing economy.

Action to achieve global industry transition needs both established heavy industry like SAIL, and technology innovators like Cemvision, to learn from each other and to achieve sustainable growth. Cement and steel are two of the world’s biggest sources of CO2 emissions and are both industries where LeadIT has a strong focus in its mission to accelerate a just and equitable transition for all.

LeadIT membership announcement at Almedalen 2024

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