We are committed to accelerating the decarbonisation of India’s construction sector by enabling increased use of low-carbon cement and other building materials
The Indian cement sector has made significant progress in reducing emissions over recent decades to become one of the most energy-efficient sectors in the world
However, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the entire construction value chain, including construction material producers, consumers, financiers, building rating agencies, industry associations, technology providers, amongst others, will need to rapidly accelerate the adoption of low/zero carbon building materials.
For the deep decarbonisation of the built environment, collective and collaborative action is needed across the construction value chain to scale the adoption of new technologies and the use of low-carbon materials including cement, concrete, steel and others.
Collective action for change
Founded by Xynteo, Build Ahead is an industry-first coalition consisting of forward-leaning businesses committed to scale decarbonisation efforts across the Indian construction value chain.
Our coalition members include Godrej Construction, JLL, JSW Cement, Lodha, SED Fund and Shell India.
Together, based on a common ambition and a shared action plan, Build Ahead will strengthen existing efforts towards net-zero emissions arising from embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure, help secure commitments for future demand and scale the use of low-carbon building materials.
Join the conversation and watch our ET Now panel discussion.
Strengthening green building ratings in India
Embodied carbon forms almost 30% of the carbon footprint of the built environment, with most coming from the manufacturing of commonly used building materials like cement, concrete and steel.
The buildings sector needs to address embodied carbon in new construction projects to achieve net-zero targets by 2050. Green building rating agencies can drive progress towards net zero achievement by increasing the ambition of green certifications.
Download our paper, A case for including embodied carbon in green ratings, and learn how we believe we can make this happen.
Our coalition Charter
To achieve the coalition’s mission and objectives, and to develop and implement a shared action plan towards decarbonising the construction value chain, Build Ahead members are committed to the coalition’s charter, and to undertaking positive steps towards a more sustainable construction industry, one that uses lower carbon materials.
Tonnes of CO2 that India, as the world's third-largest emitter releases, with 2040 levels expected to be 50% greater than those in 2019
India is the 2nd largest producer of cement and steel in the world and these industries are responsible for 8% and 12% of national emissions respectively
Year when cement production in India is expected to grow by 2 to 2.5 times from current levels, and Indian Steel demand is projected to quadruple
A conscious commitment to decarbonise India's construction
To shift the construction value chain towards a more sustainable future, the sector must commit to work together and unblock existing barriers towards achieving net zero emissions. In 2023, we have four key objectives:
Create a platform for forward leaning businesses to work together across the construction value chain and accelerate the industry towards net-zero emissions.
Build and strengthen alliances within and beyond the Indian construction sector to increase the use of low-carbon building materials, and to change mindsets to accelerate the adoption of these materials.
Develop a shared narrative on the Indian cement sector’s continued interest, as well as the Indian construction sector’s interest in decarbonisation by showcasing the potential impact of sectoral action.
Support first movers and de-risk investments for scaling innovative decarbonisation technologies and low-carbon building materials, by enabling better access to diverse sources of enabling finance.
Our areas of work
Our six workstreams are key to taking meaningful climate action.
Setting ambitions and commitments
Agree on common ambitions with respect to climate commitments, and develop operational actions to be made by producers and consumers towards these commitments.
Align sources of finance with potential projects to de-risk investments in decarbonisation technologies and materials, as well as improve understanding of challenges in accessing finance for greener construction projects.
Enhance consumers’ understanding of available and near-market ready low-carbon building materials, assess the economics to support the minimisation of transition costs and scale green premiums potentially arising from the deep decarbonisation of building materials.
Developing standards and codes
Harmonise terminologies, create end application-based standards, including carbon content labelling for different types of materials, and work towards increasing weightage of sustainable building materials in existing green building rating systems.
Enable early adoption of innovative low-carbon technologies for manufacturing and use of building materials as well as testing of low-carbon building materials, including recycled materials, and support the formation of partnerships to develop deep decarbonisation technologies.
Create a roadmap that is actionable and accepted across the construction sector and has clear timeframes and activities, builds on existing work, and includes new and innovative technologies that could accelerate the path to net-zero emissions.
We are extremely proud to be a part of Build Ahead to help support the transition towards India achieving a low-carbon future. With the coalition, through collaboration with other partners, we will be able to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment and support the Prime Minister’s pledge of net-zero emissions for India by 2070.
Managing Director, Work Dynamics - West Asia, JLL
The Build Ahead Coalition aligns with Shell's Powering Progress strategy. As one of the founding members of the coalition we hope to work with and assist partners in exploring potential low and zero carbon technologies. Our goal is to accelerate the construction value chain towards net zero emissions, by fostering collaboration and thought leadership.
Chairman, Shell Companies in India
With our shared ambition to accelerate decarbonisation of built environments in India, and encourage cross-sectoral collaboration, we are proud to launch Build Ahead – a coalition that brings together key cement producers, construction companies, technology enablers and financiers to create measurable impact, and support the country to meet its climate goals.
Managing Director, Xynteo
JSW Cement is strongly committed to achieving sustainability across all of its operations. In fact, our product has the lowest carbon emission intensity in the world. In our effort to accelerate our progress on the decarbonisation journey, we are excited to join Xynteo's 'Build Ahead' coalition and work with other business leaders who also share a goal of a carbon-neutral future. Through this collaboration, we will further contribute to India’s rapid growth, that too in a sustainable way.
Managing Director, JSW Cement
The Build Ahead coalition initiative by Xynteo, to help decarbonize the construction materials sector in India, aligns well with our organization’s commitment towards ‘Environment Stewardship’, and our strategy of promoting ‘Good & Green’ products and solutions. At Godrej Construction, we are keen to learn from the global best sustainability practices adopted by leading organizations. We are also glad to share our knowledge and best practices about sustainable development with others in the Construction and Real Estate industry, as it would help us accelerate our industry’s journey towards Net Zero built environment.
Senior Vice President & Business Head, Godrej Construction
SED Fund is very happy to support the Build Ahead Coalition by Xynteo and other partners in creating a platform for systemic collaboration and action geared towards accelerating the adoption of low carbon building materials, and to scale existing efforts of decarbonising industrial sectors.
Executive Director, SED Fund
Embodied carbon is a significant component in overall carbon emissions and gets majorly locked in even before the start of the useful life of the real estate; it needs coordinated effort by all key stakeholders in the ecosystem for its abatement. ‘Build Ahead’ coalition is a valuable step in that direction, it also resonates with our ongoing decarbonisation efforts, where we are taking leadership by focussing not only on our operations & products, but we also plan to offer decarbonisation templates that can be followed by the industry at large.
Deputy Vice President, Design and ESG Lead, Lodha