Cement industry to outline 30-year roadmap to carbon neutrality

Among their 2021 deliverables, Portland Cement Association members aim to finalize a plan to achieve carbon neutrality across the concrete value chain by 2050. A roadmap for the U.S. industry will likely factor data-driven process and practice metrics: From cement mills’ raw material extraction and kiln fuel procurement, to concrete producers’ promotion of supplementary cementitious materials-rich mix designs, to contractors’ finishing of slabs or structures credited with carbon dioxide absorption capacity.

The Portland Cement Association roadmap to carbon neutrality across the concrete value chain will pace a companion 2021-2050 plan that European counterpart, Cembureau, announced earlier this fall. GRAPHIC: European Cement Association, Brussels

“As the second most used material on earth and a cornerstone of our economy, we understand the critical role cement and concrete play in our nation’s future, and are committed to an industry-wide effort that achieves carbon neutrality,” says PCA Chairman Tom Beck (Continental Cement, Missouri). “We look forward to proactively working with stakeholders across the built environment, policymakers and environmental groups toward this ambitious target.”

Strategies supporting carbon neutrality attainment will extend an environmental track record for U.S. cement producers, who since 1990 have reduced energy consumption by 35 percent and clipped emissions intensity per ton of delivered powder by 11 percent. PCA measures dovetail those of other North American industries, environmental groups and government agencies to mitigate the effects of climate change and create a more sustainable future. The roadmap stands to position cement and concrete interests as leaders in the construction sector in delivering cleaner, greener infrastructure.

“For decades, cement manufacturers have undertaken efforts to aggressively address their environmental footprint,” notes PCA Vice President, Sustainability Rick Bohan. “Developing a roadmap to carbon neutrality by 2050 further demonstrates our industry’s commitment to be a part of the solution and tackle this global issue.”

“Cement and concrete have been pivotal in building resilient communities that enable people to live safe, productive and healthy lives via structures that withstand natural and man-made disasters,” adds President and CEO Mike Ireland. “Our members are committed to delivering products that meet those needs as well as drive down emissions and achieve the industry’s environmental goals.”