LONDON — APCO Worldwide has won a major sustainability communications brief from a new trade association that brings the global concrete and cement industries together for the first time in an attempt to reduce the sector’s carbon emissions.

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) was founded in 2018, with members including leading cement and concrete manufacturers, with national and regional cement trade associations as affiliates. The two products are used in parallel, but while concrete is a net absorber of carbon, the cement manufacturing process produces high levels of carbon – thought to be around 8% of all global emissions – due to the burning of limestone.

The association will work with its members to find new, lower-impact ways of production as the industry moves to reduce carbon emissions.

GCCA communications and policy director Paul Adeleke said: “We want to inspire people and show how cement and concrete are pivotal, both to the world of today and in facing the challenges of tomorrow. Our sector is working hard to reduce the carbon released through production and helping to unlock concrete’s inherent benefits – for example it’s fully reusable and recyclable, and actually absorbs carbon too. There are many compelling stories to tell, especially around how the sector is innovating.

“APCO demonstrated not just passion for our mission and a creative approach to storytelling, but a clear strategy for engaging media, stakeholders and non-governmental groups well beyond our industry. We’re looking forward to delivering what we intend to be a substantial and pioneering global programme.”

The account, won after a competitive pitch, will be lead by director Charlotte Higgo in APCO’s London office, supported by colleagues in Chicago. APCO UK managing director Steve Earl said: “This is an assignment that will see us bring many of APCO’s strengths to the fore – it’s anchored on corporate storytelling, but driven by deep sustainability expertise, sharp insights, media savvy, integrated social media activity and purposeful creativity with a shrewd strategy.”