un climate change conference - cop28

The host of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference is the UAE (United Arab Emirates). COP28 UAE provides a milestone opportunity for the world to come together, course correct, and drive progress to keep 1.5C within reach - to meet the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

COP28 UAE is a transformational moment for the world to unite around tangible climate action and deliver realistic solutions. Achieving this requires collaboration across civil society, governments, industries and sectors.

  • Date:  30 November - 12 December 2023
  • Location: Dubai, UAE

Circular cities: Housing for resilient urban communities

At this year's COP, we have once again gathered climate circularity leaders at our event with Goals House titled "Circular cities: Housing for resilient urban communities"

The circular economy offers answers to the challenges of urbanization and housing in cities. Decarbonized and circular construction are twin imperatives to keep materials in use and stay within our planet's boundaries while helping build more resilient urban communities. At this event, we discussed how we can solve the housing challenge of today whilst ensuring a greener and more inclusive world, and explore how, together, we can accelerate the pace of decarbonized and circular construction in cities around the world.

The world consumes 100 billion metric tons of materials each year. Only 9% gets recycled or reused in some way, the other 91 billion metric tons are left to fate in the natural environment. We need to use the opportunity that events like COP present us to talk about how we can accelerate the deployment of interventions we have at our disposal to create a systematic shift toward a circular economy.

Nollaig Forrest| Chief Sustainability Officer, Holcim

Holcim joins Circularity Task Force at COP28

Holcim has become a founding member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s (SMI) Circularity Task Force, launched at COP28 in Dubai, to accelerate our world’s shift to a circular economy. This task force aims to close essential material loops to advance climate action, while preserving nature’s resources and planetary boundaries. The Circularity Task Force is aligned with the Terra Carta charter putting nature, people and planet at the heart of global value creation through real economy action. 

By building cross-sector collaboration, Holcim together with the other founding members of the Circularity Task Force - Gemini Corp, Dubai Airports, Investcorp, and LGT Group - will champion tangible, scalable and sustainable circular business practices, while raising awareness about supportive regulatory frameworks. 

Jan Jenisch, Chairman and CEO of Holcim: "With our world’s rising population and urbanization, we need to build better with less to raise living standards for all while preserving nature. Circularity is a gamechanger to make this happen at scale. At Holcim we are driving circular construction across all metropolitan areas where we operate to build cities from cities, recycling construction demolition materials into new building solutions. I am excited to be joining like-minded organizations to accelerate the shift to a more circular future together."


Our team was named as an "Energy Transition Changemaker" by the COP28 Presidency. We were chosen as just one of nine Changemaker companies in our category for our "Carbon2Business" carbon capture project in Lägerdorf, Germany, designed to capture more than 1 million tons of CO₂ annually from 2029 for utilization as a raw material across industries in the region.

 The COP28 Presidency Energy Transition Changemakers initiative aims to foster private sector collaboration in delivering innovative and scalable decarbonization projects globally, and to demonstrate solutions that speed up the energy transition. A total of 39 awards were given at COP28 across four categories. In this spirit of partnership, we look forward to deepening and extending our collaborations across our value chain and beyond to scale up our impact.

Plenary session: Progress since COP26

Part of the Business & Philanthropy Forum, this CEO session was a chance for companies to speak about progress made on the First Mover Coalition (FMC) targets since the initiative's inception at COP26. 

Holcim has been working with partners on all ends of the technology readiness spectrum – from low-carbon cement (ECOPlanet) offering to customers, to partnership with Volvo on electric trucks, to supporting startups and think tanks on accelerating the scale-up of innovative building decarbonization solutions. During the panel discussions, Jan Jenisch, Holcim CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, shared the lessons learnt through these partnerships, specifically the differences from the perspective of a supplier and being on the demand-side of FMC.

  • Host: WEF 
  • Date and Time: 2 December, 14:00 - 15:15 
  • Holcim speaker: Jan Jenisch, Chairman and CEO

PANEL DISCUSSION: Enabling Circularity in the Built Environment

Cédric de Meeûs - Vice President, Group Public Affairs & Social Impact, moderated the panel discussion "Enabling Circularity in the Built Environment" organized by Holcim, ICLEI, Arup, Architecture 2030 and the Concrete Sustainability Council.

The built environment is responsible for half of global resource use, construction demolition waste accounts for nearly 40% of total solid waste and around 45% of GHG emissions come from the production and consumption of resources and materials. 

Circular economy enables decarbonization and reduces the use of natural resources. Hence, there is a need to accelerate the shift from a linear “take-make-waste” economy to a circular “reduce-reuse-recycle” in the built environment. 

This discussion focused on how to accelerate the shift towards circular buildings and the role of innovative building solutions (including design, materials, waste management, etc.), to achieve this shift. 

The session also aimed at discussing the collaboration levers between partners to create an enabling environment to successfully scale the transition to a circular built environment globally and the various obstacles that are yet to be overcome to achieve this scale up.


  • Date and time: 5 December 2023, 15.00-16.30 
  • Holcim speaker: Cédric de Meeûs - VP, Group Public Affairs & Social Impact

Learn more about circular, and RESILIENT cities

ECOCycle® enables world's first fully recycled concrete building

A 220-unit social housing complex called “Recygénie” is currently under construction outside Paris, France. Built in partnership with Seqens and using a custom concrete made with Holcim’s ECOCycle® technology, this is the first fully recycled concrete building in the world.

Solutions for resilient cities

Cities are in a race against time to adapt to a rapidly changing climate. As the leading provider of sustainable building solutions, Holcim is ready to be the key partner to cities on this journey. We are putting our solutions to work to make cities climate resilient and improve quality of life. We have identified five built environment challenges faced by city mayors today where Holcim can provide solutions.


Discover how to build a circular city