Cement News

Why green cement is yet to take off in India


Industry experts across the world agree that green cement is the future of sustainable construction and yet its adoption remains unpopular in India, for reasons ranging from lack of awareness to reluctance and price concerns.

Green cement is an eco-friendly cement that accounts for a smaller carbon footprint during its production by reusing industrial waste, energy efficiency and lower emissions. It also offers higher strength, longevity, cracks resistance and low chloride permeability.

“What happens with green cement (is) when we’re recycling the waste from industries, we’re actually reducing the carbon footprint by 40%,” said Deben Moza, who heads project management services at Knight Frank India.

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However, to date, a standard definition of green cement as a product is missing. There is no agreed emission benchmark below which a cement product can be classified as green, informed Nilesh Narwekar, the chief executive of JSW Cement.

Green cement is synonymous with low-emission cement categories such as Portland Slag Cement (PSC) or Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) mixed with Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag (GGBS).

Eco-friendliness of a cement product is gauged by the quantity of carbon dioxide produced per tonne of cement. 

“Each one has a very different clinker factor which determines the amount of carbon dioxide that cement has generated,” Narwekar pointed out.

While the developer community understands the significance of green cement, “economic argument outweighs the choice”, he added.

There is no clear distinction that green cement is expensive compared to traditional cement. A particular cement product is used in specific proportions and combinations with other elements of concrete, such as fly ash, slag and sand. So, if a builder can procure one material at affordable rates, the choice of cement would be dictated accordingly.

With individual buyers, lack of awareness and influence of middlemen – such as the local mason or contractor who are driven by economic margins and credit – remain a challenge.

Narwekar urged for government intervention, moving forward. “There is a need to have favourable policy frameworks which can promote green procurement and encourage the use of blended cement,” he said.


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