Sources: Global Cement and Concrete Association, London; CP staff
Forty leading cement and concrete companies envision a 30-year route to carbon neutrality in “2050 Climate Ambition,” billed as the first statement of its kind on driving down the carbon dioxide footprint of the world’s most used man-made material.
“The 2050 Climate Ambition represents our industry’s commitment to further reducing emissions and ensuring that the vital product we provide can be delivered on a carbon neutral basis,” says GCCA President and CRH Plc Chief Executive Albert Manifold. “There is a significant challenge involved and achieving alignment across our industry on a sustainable way forward is an important first step. We cannot, however, succeed alone and in launching our ambition statement we are also highlighting the need for our industry to work collaboratively with other stakeholders in support of a more sustainable future.”
The statement identifies essential levers that to achieve carbon neutral concrete: Reducing and eliminating energy-related emissions; lowering process emissions through new technologies and deployment of carbon capture; more efficient use of concrete; reuse and recycling of concrete and buildings; and, harnessing slabs and structures’ ability to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. 2050 Climate Ambition builds on the longstanding climate commitments and sustainability progress of GCCA member companies and affiliate associations across the world. It prefaces a roadmap members are preparing to publish in the second half of 2021, detailing industry actions and milestones led by work across the built environment value chain.
“As we face the challenges for future generations and begin global economic recovery, concrete will be even more critical to building the sustainable world of tomorrow,” says GCCA Chief Executive Dinah McLeo. “Concrete has a vital role to play in addressing the need for sustainable communities and prosperity. It is a key ingredient of infrastructure, homes, clean water and community resilience. Crucially, it will also help facilitate the transition to clean/green energy. We believe this journey will be challenging but are fully committed to working together with our members, partners and stakeholders across the industry and supply chain to achieve this ambition.”
The concrete and cement industry is a key part of construction, a sector accounting for 13 percent of global economic output. Underscoring producers’ track record of climate action is a 19 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per ton of cementitious materials shipped and nine-fold increase in alternative fuel use since 1990.