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Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
Materials task force

The Taskforce for climate neutral and circular materials and products was created in September 2021, with the aim to positively influence policy discussions by bringing together a group of progressive businesses across sectors and value chains.

The vision of the taskforce is of a group which brings together companies that are actively committed to using climate neutral and sustainable materials, and who raise awareness about the need for EU measures to help decarbonise materials.

Our key objective is to drive the development, implementation and support of more ambitious, future-proof policies, programmes and initiatives in Europe to create an ecosystem that more rapidly shifts away from the energy and resource intensive production of materials, to materials that are produced without using fossil fuels or emitting greenhouse gases (GHG) as by-products.

We aim to do this through policy engagement, for example, driving demand side policies to be implemented through European legislation and through the development of the evidence-base that these policies will be both environmentally beneficial as well as advantageous to the EU’s economy, its industrial ecosystems and their employment and social impacts. The taskforce will be cross-sectoral and cross-value chain with an ambitious standpoint that builds clear outreach to EU decision makers.

Aims:

The aims of the group are as follows:

  • Identify policy gaps and provide thought leadership around demand side policy measures, particularly around materials standards and GHG emission accounting for materials.
  • Focus on advocating for demand side policy measures to support sustainable materials in the EU, especially in the context of the Sustainable Products Initiative and the EU’s industrial strategy and related activities.
  • Influence policymakers to put into place robust and progressive policy that supports the growth of sustainable materials markets.
  • Analyse EU policy and highlight areas which are lacking or underdeveloped in light of the EU’s climate and circularity goals and evidence-base available.
  • Build cross-sectoral and value chain consensus that includes relevant interests and players from the materials processing (heavy) and manufacturing industries as well as downstream value-chain segments.
  • Influence the international policy space through relaying these activities through global platforms and initiatives, linked to the COP process but also others.

Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs & CLG Europe Chair, said: "As UN SG Antonio Guterres said in his opening speech at COP26 ‘We must stop carbon as otherwise it will stop us’. At Signify we became carbon neutral in our global company footprint in September 2020 - yet there is more carbon along the entire value chain. It is therefore important for companies and governments to support the development and adoption of carbon neutral materials and products, which is why we joined CLG Europe’s new taskforce."

Ramon Arratia, Vice President, Public Affairs, Ball Corporation, said: "Ball is a world leading manufacturer of infinitely recyclable aluminium beverage packaging. We see ambitious circularity policy as the biggest opportunity to reduce our aluminium packaging footprint. Joining other likeminded cross-sectoral and cross-value chain companies with an ambitious standpoint will contribute to achieving our goals."

Pascal Eveillard, Director, Sustainable Business Development, Saint-Gobain, said: "As a major producer and distributor of building products, we have the ambition to be a worldwide leader in sustainable construction. Fostering circularity and decarbonisation in the built environment are two top priorities for us. Things will only happen if there is more cooperation between the different players in the market. The Materials and Products Taskforce is a unique opportunity to help create an ecosystem that more rapidly shifts to more sustainable products and materials."

Anthony Abbotts, Director Group Public Affairs & Sustainability, ROCKWOOL Group, Denmark, said: "ROCKWOOL Group is the leading global supplier of stone wool insulation. Our work is essential to making homes energy efficient and delivering on climate goals – buildings are both the world’s most valuable financial asset, worth over €150 trillion, and a major emitter, accounting for 28 per cent of global emissions. But it is not enough just to renovate – we have to renovate well, with sustainable, safe and circular materials. People have to feel the benefits of climate action in their pockets, and there is no better way to do this than with properly renovated, cheap-to-run, healthy homes."

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