Cement companies formally adopt carbon neutrality roadmap

The Portland Cement Association bills its Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality as an ambitious journey to low carbon dioxide emissions across the cement and concrete value chain by 2050. The document demonstrates how the U.S. cement and concrete industry, along with downstream parties, can lower CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate barriers that are restricting environmental progress. 

“PCA is uniquely positioned to lead the industry-wide ambition to achieving carbon neutrality and enable our member companies and industry partners to continue building a better future,” says President and CEO Mike Ireland, who saw member companies formally adopt the Roadmap during their fall board meeting last month in Florida. 

The document outlines a portfolio of reduction strategies and immediate opportunities in various phases of the built environment: production at the cement plant, construction including designing and building, and everyday infrastructure in use. Authors cite five main areas of opportunity: clinker, cement, concrete, construction and carbonation (using concrete as a carbon sink). Each phase of the value chain is integral to reaching the goal and can unlock unique and specific pathways to carbon neutrality. They include actions such as reducing CO2 from the manufacturing process, decreasing combustion emissions by changing fuel sources, and shifting toward increased use of renewable electricity.

“Drawing on their expertise from producing the majority of cement in the U.S., PCA member companies felt strong partnership across the industry to identify the challenges manufacturers face and the opportunities and potential solutions in achieving carbon neutrality,” observes PCA Chairman Ron Henley (GCC of America). “We also understand the unequivocal value external collaborators have in implementing and moving sustainable solutions forward, and we are committed to working alongside government, science and technology leaders to bring our Roadmap to life.”

PCA is committed to gathering a coalition of industry experts, researchers, policymakers and companies along the value chain to make the Roadmap a reality. Collaboration with leaders is imperative to realize the multitude of solutions that must be developed across policies and regulations, technology and innovation and demand generation. Many Roadmap solutions entail products, technologies and approaches that exist today. By bringing together a variety of collaborators, PCA intends to ensure the adoption of the solutions on a broad scale. This will accomplish near-term benefits while constantly striving toward the long-term success of reaching carbon neutrality.

“PCA is actively engaging with organizations beyond the industry to bring the right people to the table to accelerate and advance solutions to reach carbon neutrality,” notes Massimo Toso, PCA Climate and Sustainability Council Co-Chair Massimo Toso (Buzzi Unicem USA). “Our Roadmap is an opensource, collaborative effort and includes stakeholders directly involved in the value chain as well as those not directly involved.”

“Achieving carbon neutrality will require development of an entirely new set of metrics, means and methods to track the industry’s Roadmap progress,” adds Co-Chair Eric Holard (National Cement Co.). “Once we have established effective measurement, PCA companies are committed to transparently demonstrating progress.”


Jan Jenisch

The Global Cement and Concrete Association has named Holcim AG CEO Jan Jenisch as president, tasked with overseeing implementation of “Concrete Future: The GCCA 2050 Cement and Concrete Industry Roadmap for Net Zero Concrete,” announced last month. 

“Our industry plays an essential role in society’s development, from housing to infrastructure,” he says. “With today’s population and urbanization trends, our greatest challenge and opportunity is to build a net zero future that works for people and the planet. The Net Zero Roadmap is exactly the collective endeavor that the association was established to deliver. Together we have set out a positive vision for how the cement and concrete industry will play a major role in building the sustainable world of tomorrow. With my board member peers, I look forward to overseeing the key progress we will make along that pathway, turning our vision and commitment into a reality.”

Jenisch arrived at Holcim AG in 2017 from Swiss peer, Sika AG, and succeeds his CRH Plc counterpart Albert Manifold, who presided over the founding of GCCA as a global voice for the concrete and cement industry and early action uniting the sector around the 2050 Global Roadmap to Net Zero Concrete launch.


The Portland Cement Association Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality by 2050 and Global Cement and Concrete Association 2050 Cement and Concrete Industry Roadmap for Net Zero Concrete detail seven actions reducing carbon dioxide emissions through mid-century.